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Stars rave at return of the Phantom

Andrew Lloyd Webber and the stars of Love Never Dies received a standing ovation at the world premiere of the musical.

But the eagerly anticipated follow-up to The Phantom of the Opera failed to win over the critics.

The audience in London, packed with stars including Michael Caine, Melvyn Bragg, Graham Norton, Gerard Butler, 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.

David Frost, who went to see the original Phantom eight times, said Love Never Dies was "terrific".

The TV presenter said: "It has some of Andrew's greatest music. The great advantage is that even if it was half as successful as Phantom, it would still be a mega hit."

Cilla Black said it was an "unbelievable" show. "Everything was incredible -- everything was in there," she said.

The show was unveiled at London's Adelphi Theatre last night, and is due to be followed by shows in New York and Australia.