Phantom of the Opera

Halloween Theatre Highlights: Phantom of the Opera and More

Make no bones about it. Halloween is the best holiday and we’ll have no more said on the matter. A pox on those who prefer the sickly season of goodwill. There’s little creepier than a certain child-bothering bearded burglar dressed in all red, and don’t get us started on the custom of giving gifts to people you hate. The Pagan roots of Halloween are oft-forgotten, but on 31 October the souls of the dead are said to revisit the land of the living. How magnificent. Look closely and you might see your great aunt roaming about the streets under the guise of a killer clown, or your recently deceased neighbour nipping to the shops sporting a Donald Trump bouffant.


Halloween reigns supreme for six solid reasons:

  • It’s opt-in and therefore better by default
  • It makes for far more entertaining photos than other holidays
  • It’s an excuse to devour sweets by the bucketload
  • It’s kinder to turkeys (who are more than just big chickens)
  • It makes light work of a bad hair day
  • Pumpkins. Pumpkins in every orifice

We’re all for indulging our inner ghosts, ghouls, witches and goblins. With just two weeks to go, we thought we’d better give you some ideas of cool stuff to do before the month is out.

The Phantom of the Opera

On Monday evening, the original star of The Phantom of the Opera made a surprise appearance on stage to make the 30th anniversary of the smash hit West End musical. “It’s a very, very special show in a very, very special theatre,” said Michael Crawford, and we’re not arguing. If you have yet to experience the delights of the third longest running show in Theatreland, make this Halloween extra sinister by treating yourself to some tickets to Her Majesty’s Theatre. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mesmerising score and the jaw-dropping scenery make this sumptuous play quite otherworldly, and what could be more darkly romantic than a repulsive pariah haunting the shadows of an old Parisian playhouse?


The Woman in Black

Based on Susan Hill’s popular novel, Stephen Mallatratt’s incredible stage adaptation brings this suspense-filled horror story to life, taking the audience on a journey through a single night in which the ghosts of the past come back to haunt a sceptical lawyer.We’ll tell you a little Halloween secret. We’ve been too scared to see this show after hearing about the ‘old hag in the rocking chair’ scene. Rocking chairs have to be the spookiest of all furniture items, no? Anyway, the braver among you might want to catch this spooky production at London’s Fortune Theatre at the end of October. Gulp.



If you want something Halloween-lite that you can enjoy with the kids, why not check out this spellbinding show at the Apollo Victoria Theatre? Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire which takes inspiration from L. Frank Baum’s children’s classic The Wizard of Oz this glittering production tells the untold story of the famous fictional witches. First opening at London Victoria’s Apollo Theatre in 2006, the musical has been seen by over 7 million people and is now one of the most beloved shows in the West End.


A Conversation on Making a Murderer

Forget Leatherface, Hannibal Lector and other hackneyed fictional serial killers – what could be more spooky than an evening spent examining a real-life murder trial? Especially one that may or may not have seen a huge miscarriage of justice. Earlier this year, the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer captured the imaginations of people across the globe – filling the void we’d had since listening to Adnan Syed’s collect calls on Serial. Attorneys Jerry Buting and Dean Strang (swoon) come to London to participate in a moderated discussion about the operations of the criminal justice system, as well as the broader implications of the Steven Avery case. Ok, so this event takes place at the London Palladium on October 23rd so not strictly Halloween but we’re all for bending the rules these days.


Image courtesy of Kitt Walker on Flickr