OK, the Mandarin costume.
I agree with Marcus Lovett about this being the coolest and maybe also most personal costume the Phantom wears in the show. Though a lot of Leroux’s background story on the Phantom, told through The Persian, has been omitted from the stage version, you can still get hints of his oriental travels through this Mandarin costume. It also seems to be his informal “dressing gown”, which is only shown to us when he is at home, composing, relaxed (as such).
There seems to be different elements in the different versions. They all have a basic frock/jacket. Most versions has a “tabard” overneath, a second layer which can either be shorter, pointed and with a fringed hem (row 1) or open at the sides (row 3 and 4). The latter often also have fringes, but shorter. Similar, the version with the long fringes can also be open at the sides.
Some versions have a pointed collar with or without tassels (row 1 and 2), others only have the high collar around the neck. It also varies what kind of front closings the costumes may or may not have, but frog fastenings is not unusual.
So in effect the costume can be open or not open at the sides, fringed or not fringed at the hem, with or without a pointed collar, and with or without frog fastenings. Which can make it a bit confusing to understand the construction.
On the head they all wear a “pill box” hat with an ornamental trim around the crown, and a small rounded point at the top.
As for colours, blue and golden shades accented with red and green seems to be the most common combo. But hints of black and turquoise is not uncommon either, and in Japan they’ve also had an all-purple and gold one. As for motifs, dragons and ornamental circles is very common. Birds and/or wings is also common, as is flowers. I don’t think there’s a deeper meaning to it other than these being common in Chinese brocades and old fabric panels.
Neither of these are particularly in sync with the costume design, which makes me wonder if there is a second revised sketch never published - like the revised Slave master or Sun King ones.
1. Marcus Lovett during fittings, West End.
2. The Viennese costume on display in China.
3. Marcus Lovett’s costume from behind, West End.
4. Peter jorde, Copenhagen.
5. Jonathan Roxmouth, South Africa.
6. Michael Crawford, West End.
7. Hugh Panaro, Broadway.
8. Canada, don’t remember who it is.
9. Anthony Crivello, Las Vegas.
10. Jonathan Roxmouth, South Africa.
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