Standing ovation for Phantom sequel
Andrew Lloyd Webber and stars of Love Never Dies have received a standing ovation at the world premiere of the stage musical.
The eagerly-anticipated follow-up to The Phantom of the Opera took place at London's Adelphi Theatre, and is due to be followed by unveilings in New York and Australia.
The audience, packed with stars including Sir Michael Caine, Lord Bragg, Graham Norton, Gerard Butler, Sir Terry Wogan and Chris Evans, rose to their feet and cheered as the show reached its climax.
Lloyd Webber bowed and blew a kiss to the audience, and kissed those on the stage.
The biggest cheers of the night were saved for Ramin Karimloo, who plays the Phantom, and Sierra Boggess, who plays Christine. Both previously performed the roles in the original Phantom. Summer Strallen, who plays Meg Giry and who previously starred as Maria on stage in The Sound of Music, also went down a storm.
The adulation follows mixed views on the internet about the musical, which has been having previews before Tuesday night's premiere.
During the interval, Lloyd Webber said of the audience reaction: "It seems great."
Ben Elton, who worked with Lloyd Webber to finally bring the show to the stage after almost 20 years in the making, said he was "thrilled".
"It's a wonderful night in the theatre," he said. "I'm very pleased to have played a small part in what is a fabulous, fabulous show. I think the set was truly incredible and the music is sublime."
The Phantom Of The Opera has been seen by more than 100 million people, has been translated into 15 languages and won 50 awards. Love Never Dies continues the story of the Phantom, who has moved from his lair in the Paris Opera House to haunt the fairgrounds of New York's Coney Island.