Phantom of the Opera Interview for Performer Stuff Pro Series: The Original London Production – a 34 Year Phenomenon!

Written by: Mark Pawsey

July 11, 2021

To continue with our Performers Stuff Pro Series, please welcome Ellen Jackson, Lynn Jezzard, and Stewart Arnott from the original London production of The Phantom of the Opera. Hear them share their stories about working directly with the show’s creators, Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Dame Gillian Lynne, Hal Prince, and Maria Bjornson. Collectively Ellen, Lynn, and Stewart have experienced over 30,000 performances of the show.

Meet our Panelists

Ellen Jackson – Cast Phantom of the Opera – Original London Production (12,000 performances with the show)

Training: Ellen Jackson was born in Lanarkshire and is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Opera includes: her professional debut at the Waterford Festival, performing the title role in The Merry Widow and Gianetta in The Gondoliers, for which she received the Best Female Voice Award. After this she joined Scottish Opera, with whom she performed in Der Rosenkavelier, Die Meistersinger, Die Fledermaus, L’Elisir d’Amore, Tosca and Egisto.

Theatre includes: The Phantom of the Opera, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, The Beggar’s Opera, Annie, Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music (UK tour), the hit West End musical Chess and Fiddler on the Roof (Theatre Royal, Plymouth). Seasons followed in Born Again (Chichester Festival Theatre), Les Misérables (Palace) and The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s), in which she played Madame Giry at many performances. She has also played Mrs Mullin and the Principal in the musical Carousel (Perth Theatre).

Lynn Jezzard – Original Cast, Resident Ballet Mistress and Resident Choreographer Phantom of the Opera – Original London Production (34 years with show)

Training: Lynn was born in Ramsgate, Kent and trained at the Arts Educational Schools, Tring and London

Ballet includes: She started her professional career in Ballet International, then moved to Northern Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer where she danced many of the leading classical roles including Giselle and Swanhilda in Copelia, also creating the role of Alice in Alice and Wonderland

Television includes: A Chance to Sit Down for BBC TV and the major series Bluebell also for the BBC.

Theatre: Original cast member and Resident Ballet Mistress Phantom of the Opera London

Stewart Arnott –Stage Manager Phantom of the Opera – Original London Production (10,000 performances with show)

Training: Stewart Graduated from Mountview Theatre School in 1987,

Theatre includes: Stewart has worked extensively in the West End as set operator on shows such as Metropolis and Miss Saigon before moving into stage management where his shows include The Rocky Horror ShowA Tribute to the Blues BrothersThe Hunting of the SnarkRadio Times and Crazy For You. In 1995 Stewart joined the original production of The Phantom of the Opera, a show which he was privileged to look after as stage manager for the last 20 years of its run.

WATCH: Phantom of the Opera Interview for Performer Stuff Pro Series: The Original London Production – a 34 Year Phenomenon!


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Mark is British and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London winning the Liverpool Playhouse Award and an honors diploma in Stage Management. He spent 15 years in London’s West End working on shows such as “Steel Magnolias”, “Taboo – The Boy George Musical” and original productions of “The Woman in Black” “Buddy” and “The Phantom of the Opera”. In 1998 Mark joined the acclaimed “Cirque du Soleil” troupe, touring the world with “Alegria”, “Quidam” and “Amaluna”. He moved to Las Vegas in 2004 to take up residence with them on “Zumanity” and then to Tokyo in 2010 with “ZED” where he became Artistic Director. He gave a TEDx Talk in Edmonton, Canada in 2013 on “The Future of Inspiration” and left Cirque after 16 years, in 2014. However, he stumbled upon an opportunity with Norwegian Cruise Lines which led to a fortuitous partnership with Joyce Arbucias and The Imagination House in Orlando, where he has been a Producer of Live Entertainment for the past 3½ years.