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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 August, 2003, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Phantom hits performance milestone
The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera has been seen in 110 cities
The Phantom of the Opera, the most successful musical in history, celebrated its 7,000th West End performance on Tuesday.

The continued success of the show comes 17 years after it first opened, and a big screen version is expected to start filming later this year.

The 7,000 performances have been racked up at Her Majesty's Theatre in London over 6,152 days.

It was an immediate hit when it opened on 9 October 1986, when it starred Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman.

Since then, the musical has been seen by 70 million people in 110 cities around the world from Australia to Mexico.

220 staff needed
Ballet girls used 10,000 pairs of shoes
Two million ice creams eaten
1,033 tons of dry ice used
84,000 pain killers taken
But The Mousetrap has had more than 20,000 performances
Producers say it has made more money than any other stage show or film in history.

It has won more than 50 major theatre awards and is currently playing in Germany, Spain, Hungary and the United States.

In London, one member of the orchestra, cellist Robert Norris, has played in 6,954 of the performances.

The big screen version, directed by Phone Booth's Joel Schumacher, is expected to be released next year.

A relative unknown, Scottish actor Gerard Butler, will play the Phantom.

Singer Charlotte Church said she was offered a role - but refused after being told to lose weight.

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24 Mar 99  |  Entertainment

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