John Owen-Jones returns to play Phantom of the Opera and Ben Forster to take over from February 2016
July 24, 2015  //  By:   //  News  //  Comments are off

4b42420c8250478d4ca4097183d1d7f0From Monday 7 September 2015, there will be major cast changes in the smash hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End.

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John Owen-Jones returns as ‘The Phantom’ from Monday 7 September 2015 having most recently played the part in the spectacular new production of the show on tour in the UK. He has played the role more times than any other actor in the West End production’s history. John has also played the role of ‘Jean Valjean’ in “Les Misérables” in the West End, on the 25th anniversary tour and on Broadway. He was the first British actor to play the role in the West End and on Broadway. He most recently appeared as ‘Pirelli’ in the English National Opera production of “Sweeney Todd”. He will play the role of ‘The Phantom’ until Saturday 30 January 2016.

Ben Forster will play the role of ‘The Phantom’ from Monday 1 February 2016. Ben is probably best known for winning the ITV1 show, ‘Superstar’ – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s TV talent search for ‘Jesus’ in “Jesus Christ Superstar”. His other theatre credits include ‘Magaldi’ in “Evita” at the Dominion Theatre. Ben will join “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” following his appearance later this year as ‘Buddy’ in “Elf The Musical” also at the Dominion Theatre.

They are joined by Celinde Schoenmaker as ‘Christine Daaé’; Nadim Naaman as ‘Raoul’, Michael Matus as ‘Monsieur Firmin’ and Christopher Dickens as ‘Monsieur André’.

Continuing their roles are: Lara Martins as ‘Carlotta’; Jacinta Mulcahy as ‘Madame Giry’; John Ellis as ‘Piangi’ and Alicia Beck as ‘Meg’. Emmi Christensson will continue as the alternate ‘Christine Daaé’ until June 2016 when Lisa-Anne Wood takes over the role.

Celinde Schoenmaker has just finished playing the role of ‘Fantine’ in “Les Misérables” at The Queen’s Theatre, having made her West End debut in 2013. Previously she played ‘Jenny’ in a production of “Love Story” which toured Holland.

Nadim Naaman returns to “The Phantom of the Opera” having appeared in the production from 2010 to 2012. He most recently appeared as ‘Charles Clarke’ in “Titanic” at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto. His London theatre credits include ‘Anthony Hope’ in “Sweeney Todd” at Harrington’s Pie & Mash Shop, “One Man, Two Guvnors” at The National Theatre and Theatre Royal Haymarket and “The Sound of Music” at the London Palladium.

Michael Matus recently played ‘Fernando’ in “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” at the Playhouse Theatre. Other theatre credits include “The Sound of Music” at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre; “Yes Prime Minister” on UK Tour; “Lend Me A Tenor” at the Gielgud Theatre and Theatre Royal Plymouth; “Oklahoma” at The Chichester Festival Theatre and “Imagine This” at the New London Theatre.

Christopher Dickins’ West End credits include “War Horse”; “Blood Brothers”; “The Sound of Music”; “The Far Pavilions” and “Salad Days”. Other theatre credits include “The Threepenny Opera” (National Theatre), “The Secret Garden” (Birmingham Rep) and “Mary Poppins” on tour.

From 7 September 2015 the full cast will be: Zoe Arshamian; Charlotte Baptie; Alicia Beck; Kieran Brown; Emmi Christensson; Scott Davies; Hadrian Delacey; Christopher Dickins; Meshell Dillon; John Ellis; Lyndsey Gardiner; Ryan Goscinski; Philip Griffiths; Keith Higham; Lizzie Holmes; Lily Howes; Daisy Hulbert; Ellen Jackson; Tim Laurenti; Rhidian Marc; Lara Martins; Michael Matus; Leo Miles; Tim Morgan; Fiona Morley; Paul Morrissey; Jacinta Mulcahy; Richard Munday; Nadim Naaman; Joanna O’Hare; John Owen Jones; Simon Rackley; Celinde Schoenmaker; Danielle Stephens; Ashley Stillburn; Claire Tilling: Charlotte Vaughan; Georgia Ware and Lisa-Anne Wood.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA became the longest running show in Broadway history on 9 January 2006 when it celebrated its 7,486th performance, surpassing the previous record holder “Cats”. This coincided with the Broadway and the US national touring company celebrating an unprecedented 20,000 performances in the United States. On 26 January 2013 the Broadway production celebrated an amazing 25 years on Broadway. In October 2011 the London production celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a spectacular staging of “The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall” which was screened live in cinemas all over the world and subsequently released on DVD and in March 2013 the show celebrated 11,000 performances in the West End.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has won 70 major theatre awards, including seven Tony’s on Broadway and three Olivier Awards in the West End. It won the ‘Most Popular Musical Audience Award’, voted by the public, in the 2002 Laurence Olivier Awards. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, which opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 9 October 1986 starred Michael Crawford as ‘The Phantom’ and Sarah Brightman as ‘Christine.’ It is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Theatre Company Limited.

It is estimated that THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has been seen by more than 140 million people worldwide and the total gross is now in excess of $6 billion. The box office revenues are higher than any film or stage play in history, including “Titanic”, “ET” and “Star Wars”. It has been seen in 34 countries and 157 cities and played in 14 different languages. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is currently showing in London, New York, Hamburg, Budapest, Prague and on tour in the US. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA will open in Helsinki and Guangzhou in September.

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