DESPITE some ongoing refurbishment work, Carlisle's Sands Centre is open for business - and is set to host a huge production of a world-famous show.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash musical The Phantom of the Opera is coming to the theatre next month, following a ten-year journey to gain the necessary permissions.

The production is being put on by StagedRight Youth Theatre, which has never been frightened to tackle epic productions.

In the past, it has enjoyed success with, amongst others, Singin’ in the Rain (with real rain) and Les Miserables (with a barricade that filled The Sands stage).

But The Phantom of the Opera will be its 'biggest and most spectacular' production ever, according to the company, with a two-tier set that will fill the stalls area of The Sands Centre; an 8’ chandelier that will rise over the audience and explode with pyrotechnics; more than 400 costumes; an 18-piece orchestra and a remote-controlled boat that has been designed and built especially for the Carlisle production.

'Live theatre in Carlisle is open'

Director David McNeill said: “After Covid, many of our traditional audience members are no longer with us and, with all the building work at The Sands Centre, lots of people think there is nothing happening in the city.

"We wanted to stage the biggest musical possible and nothing could be better than ‘Phantom’.

"Live theatre in Carlisle is open.

News and Star: PHANTOM: The huge show is coming to CarlislePHANTOM: The huge show is coming to Carlisle

"We are throwing everything we can at this production and hope that, despite restrictions as to how many seats we can sell, the public comes out to support us.

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"It is a massive show, and we have some of the best talent in Cumbria performing on stage. In addition to those on stage, a number of StagedRight Graduates are returning to help out including Carly Roberts who, now living in London, is a professional make-up and prosthetics artist.

"She is currently making the hideous make-up and bald cap that is 
worn by The Phantom."

'Tickets on sale now'

StagedRight, voted Best Amateur Group in Cumbria’ by Cumbria Life Magazine, is currently the only amateur group in Carlisle to present fully staged musicals and attract audiences from throughout Cumbria and beyond.

The Phantom of the Opera takes to The Sands Centre stage on Friday July 8 and Saturday July 9 with matinee and evening performance.

Tickets are available from The Sands Centre box office, by telephone 01228 633766 or The Sands Centre website.

The Phantom is played by Luke Thompson; Christine Daae is played by Beth Smith; Raoul is played by Nathan Yielder.


The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, masked musical genius living in the subterranean labyrinth beneath the Paris Opéra House.

It contains some of Lloyd Webber’s greatest songs including All I Ask of You, Masquerade and The Music of the Night.

News and Star: STAGEDRIGHT: Carlisle's youth theatre is putting on the showSTAGEDRIGHT: Carlisle's youth theatre is putting on the show

The musical opened in London's West End in 1986 starring Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, and went on to become the longest running show in Broadway history.

It has been seen by over 130 million people in 145 cities across 27 countries.

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