So it's only two weeks until the 2011/2012 cast of Love Never Dies are due to start performances at The Adelphi theatre.
The cast have started rehearsals just this past Monday yet there is still no official news.
Why? Is it some great secret? Hardly!
Blogs, fanpages and twitter have been rife with news on the alleged new cast, or newish cast.
Ramin Karimloo is rumored to be staying on in the role of The Phantom. Phantastic news! (Sorry the pun can't be helped! It's a reflex). It also comes as a slight annoyance to many whom flooded into the box office to purchase tickets for his last show, originally March 5th, and the final week. I was one of these people but I thoroughly enjoyed the show and had been wanting to see it a second time anyway.
I was personally more annoyed that I would be having to dive deep into my already empty pockets to find the money to go a third time to see the replacement for Joseph Millson's Raoul. The part of Raoul is set to be taken over by the heartthrob of the West End David Thaxton! His casting news has been available on his Spotlight page, viewable here, for at least a week now.
David was most recently seen in the Donmar's production of Stephen Sondheim's Passion, for which he has been nominated for an Olivier award along with his new co-star Ramin for best actor in a musical. David's casting will no doubt impact the box office, not that the show really needed it, the premise sold itself already having an established story and characters. I however believe his presence will bring in a new audience and repeat visits due to his large fan base.
Liz Robertson will also be staying on as Madame Giry and Haley Flaherty will be stepping into the captivating Summer Strallen's shoes as Meg Giry.
Most underwellming is the news of first understudy, Celia Graham, taking over the role of Christine Daaé. After Sierra Boggess she'll have a lot to live up to. However, I'll reserve judgement until I can see her in the role myself.
With Ramin staying on and Celia becoming a principal people have been commenting on how the show was unable to obtain any 'named' actors to take over the leads. This is possible. I would assume due to availability rather then nobody wanting to take to role as some have been saying.
Despite reviews and split audience opinion Love Never Dies has been highly successful in it's first year and I imagine it will be for years to come. As long as there is The Phantom Of The Opera there will be Love Never Dies following straight behind.
Hopefully there will be an official announcement soon as it is all becoming quite a mess just like the shows early beginnings. I hope this wont become a patten. However, in the mean time I'll be looking forward to hearing the two powerhouses which are Ramin and David go head to head with 'Devil Take The Hindmost' in the near future.