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But critics ARE NOT AS KEEN...

There were lukewarm reviews for the show today with some critics doubtful the long-awaited sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera will prove as successful as the original.

Critic Quentin Letts declared: "A hit? Not quite."

But Charles Spencer, in The Daily Telegraph, described the musical as "Lloyd Webber's finest show since the original Phantom".

But, given the popularity of recent musical comedies such as Hairspray, Sister Act and Legally Blonde, he wondered whether audiences would fork out for "two-and-a-half hours of dark Gothic imaginings, seething passion, and in the final scene, sudden, violent death".

Letts writes off the musical's opening as "stodgy".