The Phantom of the Opera world tour opens in Taiwan – to an audience of over 5000
The show might be closed in the UK but it is going full-steam ahead in Taiwan!
While venues in the UK are still locked down, further afield performances have been able to pick up steam – especially where cases are lower and risks of infection have dropped off.
Such is the case in Taipei, Taiwan, where The Phantom of the Opera will play 22 performances after the cast quarantined following a number of weeks of virtual rehearsing.
Running until 6 December, the piece stars South African actor Jonathan Roxmouth in the titular masked role, alongside Broadway star Kaley Ann Voorhees as Christine. Further cast members come from the likes of the UK and South Korea. According to reports, well over 5000 people watch the show every night.
The country has had an incredibly effective Covid response, having recorded minimal numbers of cases and, at the end of October, going for 200 days without a domestic infection. The island country put a huge economic and logistical effort into establishing an effective track and trace system and established a two-week quarantine for anyone flying into the country.
South Korea is another country where performances have been allowed, due to similarly effective measures to mitigate risk and allow performances to continue.
In a message, Phantom composer Andrew Lloyd Webber said: "Thank you for all you have done to counteract the Covid virus. The pioneering work you have done has been extraordinary in keeping theatres open." The world tour is expected to return early next year in Shanghai.
You can see reactions to the Taipei production below: