London production 1986
The Phantom of the Opera the Musical - Prologue
Sold. Your number, sir? Thank you
Lot 665, ladies and gentlemen: a papier-mache musical box in the shape of a barrel-organ. Attached, the figure of a monkey in Persian robes playing the cymbals. This item, discovered in the vaults of the theatre, still in working order
PORTER (showing (holding it up)
[He sets it in motion]
May I start at twenty francs? Fifteen, then? Fifteen I am bid. Twenty, sir? Thank you. Twenty? Twenty-five, thank you, madam. Thirty. Selling at thirty, then. Thirty once, twice?
Sold, for thirty francs to the Vicomte de Chagny. Thank you, sir
[The box is handed across to RAOUL. He studies it, as attention focuses on him for a moment.]
RAOUL (quietly, half to himself, half to the box)
A collector's piece, indeed
Every detail exactly as she said
She often spoke of you, my friend
Your velvet lining, and your figurine of lead
Will you still play, when all the rest of us are dead?
[Attention returns to the AUCTIONEER, as he resumes]
Lot 666, then: a chandelier in pieces. Some of you may recall the strange affair of the Phantom of the Opera—a mystery never fully explained. We are told, ladies and gentlemen, that this is the very chandelier which figures in the famous disaster. Our workshops have restored it and fitted up parts of it with wiring for the new electric light, so that we may get a hint of what it may look like when re-assembled. Perhaps we may frighten away the ghost of so many years ago, with a little illumination, gentlemen?
[The AUCTIONEER switches on the chandelier. There is an enormous flash, and the OVERTURE begins]
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