Phantom Of The Opera – Interview with Katie Hall

You’ve seen the movie… now the musical is coming to Dublin

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA was first published in 1909, over that time its become a hugely popular stage show thanks to Andrew Lloyd Weber and has spawned two feature length films. The first in 1925 and more recently cult director Joel Schumacher cast Gerard Butler as the infamous phantom. 

The musical returns to Dublin next month for the 25th anniversary production, caught up with Katie Hall to talk movies.
Katie plays the part of Christine in the show, which opens at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from 5th July – 4th August 2012.

Q: Have you seen the Phantom of the Opera Hollywood movie from director Joel Schumacher?

Yes, I have. I thought it was really very beautifully done. The sets and cosutmes were great – it looked stunning. But I suppose I think that it could perhaps have been better cast . When you see some of the past or current West End or Broadway casts you can’t help but have very high standards…

Q: Who plays Phantom this time around? What is he like to work with?

John Owen Jones is playing The Phantom. He’s wonderful . It’s really amazing to watch him work. We’ve worked together before actually, in a father-daughter role in Les Mis, so that’s a bit funny. He’s got this incredible voice that never faulters. He can do 8 shows a week, and turn each one around perfectly. He’s really a joy.

Q: When did you first see the stage show of Phantom?

My friend from school took me on a trip to see it when I was 13. I was pretty young, but ever since then I’ve wanted to play the part of Christine.

Q: Why do you think the Phantom story has become such a classic in the movie and musical world?

Well, I think above all it’s a beautiful story – it’s a love triangle, a Gothic romance. I also think the characters in it are so easy to relate to. All of us can probably see something in them that we can understand, or we’ve gone through part of what they’re going through. And obviously the music is brilliant. It’s the kind of score that will survive for years.

Q: Tell us about the character Christine?

She’s very lonely, and a bit of a dreamer I think. She’s very compassionate, and she’s also very young. She goes on this amazing journey throughout the story. She starts as a young girl, but through all she experiences she emerges at the end as this really strong woman

Q: How long does it take to rehearse for a show like this?

Well this isn’t the first time I’ve played Christine, luckily. I understudied the part when I was 17. I was very young and really had to be walked through it – I almost had to be told exactly where to put my arms at what time and that kind of thing. I suppose I’ve gone through a journey in the role too. I’ve gotten to know the part of really well, and I’ve changed my perception of it over the years. For this particular production, I suppose we had about 5 or 6 weeks of rehearsal, and then technical rehearsals after that. But I’m still changing how I play the part. I like to think Christine changes or does something a little bit differently in every show.

Q: How often to you get to sit down and watch a movie?

I do watch moveis quite often at home with my fiancee. It’s one of the thinigs we like to do together to relax – just cuddle up on the couch and watch a good DVD. I suppose we get to watch one once every couple of weeks or so…

Q: Tell us about the last movie you saw? (either in cinema, video, DVD or TV)

The last one I remember seeing was The War Horse. I used to have horses when I was younger so I have this real emotional attachment to them. I actually went to see the movie in the cinema, but I got so upset that I had to walk out half way through! Watching it on DVD with my fiancee was my way of trying it for a second time.

Q: What is your favourite movie of all time?

Great question… I’m struggling to think of just one… I love the Harry Potter movies, and all of the classic Disney movies. I really love the Moulin Rouge too, and musical films in general. I guess that’s not a surprise.

Q: Who would play you in the movie adaptation of your life?

I would play me in the movie adaptation of my life! No question about that.

Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera, at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from 5th July – 4th August 2012.