The Phantom of the Opera is a book-then-musical that leaves quite a lot of questions unanswered. You can either take the story of the love-sick Opera Ghost at face value, or theorize about possible alternatives. I chose to theorize!
1. Meg Giry is the Phantom's child.
This is actually a pretty disturbing theory. Madame Giry and the Phantom have a child – the Phantom then falls obsessively in love with their daughter's best friend, and Madame Giry is okay with it? Maybe best to not dig too deep.
This theory is based on the mysterious relationship that Madame Giry and the Phantom seem to have – what went on between them before Christine came into the picture? There definitely seems to be more history there than a one-time chance encounter … clearly, they had a child together! And Meg's father isn't really mentioned so … if you don't think about it too much, it's infallible.
2. The Phantom of the Opera is based on Beauty and the Beast.
I love this idea! Sure, I'm not 100% convinced by it – but fairytale-based conspiracy theories are always fun. Here are the similarities that I can see: first, the Beast and the Phantom are both seen as monsters initially; second, Belle / Christine see beyond that. Can you think of any others? Let me know! Because I can't.
3. The Opera Ghost is half-vampire.
This is pretty clearly not true, but the reason given by the author of the theory is great: “he manages to treat his prospective wife like total crap and have it romanticised”.
4. Love Never Dies is intentionally bad.
Love Never Dies has a lot going for it in theory – it's the sequel to one of Lloyd-Webber's greatest works, there are a couple of really good songs in it, and let's face it, the end of The Phantom of the Opera does leave a lot of questions open. But, sadly, Love Never Dies is just not a very good musical. It never took off in the West End or anywhere else, and I can see why. This optimistic theory suggests that, actually, the disappointing sequel is a spoof of bad fan-fiction. The strange plot-line? The underwhelming score? The completely changed characters? Yep. All intentional.
5. Christine Daae just made the whole 'Opera Ghost' thing up.
To get attention? Well, maybe. But this theory argues that she just couldn't cope with the spotlight. It's an elaborate theory, so check out the link below for a full explanation. Basically, Christine opportunistically plays on the superstitions of the opera house cast and crew, and creates a character who (by a series of spectacular coincidences) everybody somehow starts to believe in.
The Phantom of the Opera is shrouded in mystery, but how many of these theories do you believe? Was the Phantom real or imaginary? Was he a vampire? An ex-lover? Let us know what you think is the most believable theory by tweeting @OnstageBlog and @thespian_blog.