Promises that the original production of Phantom of the Opera would return after Covid restrictions lift have been broken, leaving orchestral players out of a job.
The show was cancelled in March 2020. In August, Andrew Lloyd Webber said that when it returned, “we’re going to have the original production”.
All 27 musicians were released from their contracts during the refurbishment of Her Majesty’s Theatre where the musical is staged, but only 14 musicians can re-audition for the show’s return in July.
Instruments including the oboe, harp and percussion have been cut and will be replaced with keyboard effects.
Matt Dickinson, percussionist for the show, tweeted: “I sacrificed so much, willingly, to be a part of this wonderful show and yet I will leave with nothing more than the shirt on my back: no severance to speak of and my livelihood and that of my family in absolute tatters.”