Mark Shenton on Love Never Dies
Thursday 10th March 2011
Although I’m usually quite dozy about getting unwanted emails (I just cancel them), even I have managed to notice that regular missives have been arriving to my mailbox about Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies, his follow up to Phantom of the Opera, which opened last year. Equally slowly, I haven’t really understood what the fuss has been about until Mark Shenton’s blog, for The Stage newspaper yesterday, told me a good part of the story. His informative post offers a neat defence of his lordship’s classic work, as well as spreading the news about the gang of Phantom of the Opera fans who have dedicated a huge amount of time and energy to attacking the new show, presumably because they don’t want there to be a successful sequel to the original. Apparently, this cult-like band of manic fanatics, led by the Toronto-based husband and wife team Jeff and Rebecca Timmons, seem determined to harass the show, often without having even seen it. This example of a fanaticism bordering on crass stupidity and mental dysfunction might seem incredible to any regular blogger, and the suspicion struck me that maybe Mark Shenton was exaggerating. But then I saw the miles and miles of messages responding to his post! Yep, these people are mad, bad and really have too much time and energy on their hands… couldn’t someone find something really harmless for them to do? Like growing vegetables on a tranquil patch of land somewhere? Surely, all the bile they are spitting can’t be good for their health?