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The Phantom of the Opera's 'original version' will return to the West End according to co-producer

It has been a busy week for fans of Phantom

Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The fate of The Phantom of the Opera in the West End is as murky and as unpredictable as the show's titular character, if this week is anything to go by.

Earlier this week, producer Cameron Mackintosh penned a piece in the Evening Standard saying the show was "permanently" shut down in the midst of the pandemic, and that the hit musical may be back 'in the future'. At the same time, photos showed the iconic chandelier being wheeled out of Her Majesty's Theatre. Previous Phantom John Owen-Jones took to Twitter to predict that a "leaner" version of the musical will come back.

The next day, the iconic musical's composer Andrew Lloyd Webber stated on Twitter: "As far as I'm concerned, Phantom will re-open as soon as is possible" – though not specifying which version of Phantom will be back or when exactly this might be.

WhatsOnStage has received a new statement from both Mackintosh and Phantom's PR clarifying the show's position – read it here

The plot thickened today when Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group (who also co-produce the show) president Jessica Koravos told The Stage that Mackintosh was incorrect and had meant to say that: "we have closed down the production entity" rather than closing down the full show.

She reassured Phantom fans that when the show reopens (though did not give a possible date for this) "it will the original version. It is not a new version of the show – it will be the original Phantom."

A lot of Koravos' statements line up with a release sent out weeks ago by the team, stating that "a period of extended closure is urgently needed" to repair both the venue and the show itself.

Koravos did concede that: "this will be the first Phantom production that happens completely without the involvement of Hal Prince", but said that all will be done to preserve what was originally in place.

With a bendy narrative more complex than the plot of Phantom sequel Love Never Dies, you can be sure there will be updates to come.

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