Love Never Dies, the unloved sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, will finish its West End run in August after only 18 months, it has been announced.
Costing £5.5 million (Dh32.6m), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production has been the centre of controversy since it opened, with Phantom of the Opera fans creating a Facebook group and website, loveshoulddie.com, criticising the show.
The site, which has a web-banner reading Phantom Needs No Sequel, labelled the show a “train-wreck” and an unnecessary sequel to the much-loved original, which first opened in 1986 and is the longest running show in Broadway history, and the second longest running musical in West End history, after Les Miserables.
The site released a statement welcoming the closure of the show. “Our campaign does not aim to bring about the closure of any Love Never Dies production. It doesn’t need to. The show is dreadful enough to close itself,” the site says. “Nor do we wish any harm upon the cast or creative team of this completely unnecessary and tasteless venture.”
After the original ambitious plan of having the show opening on three separate continents simultaneously, the production suffered from poor reviews and its Broadway run was shelved
Last November the show was put on short hiatus in order to make improvements and it bounced back to earn seven nominations at this year’s Olivier Awards.
But it was too late to win over the detractors, it seems. The production inspired one UK theatre critic to quip: “Paint Never Dries”.