LOVE NEVER DIES opened to great phanfare at the Adelphi theatre last night and if celebrity attendance is anything to go by, Lord Lloyd Webber’s sequel to Phantom of the Opera is a sure fire hit.

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Just the first six letters of the celeb-register revealed the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Cilla Black, Michael Caine, Chris Evans and David Frost: there’s a fair chance the stars played ordinary people-spotting during the interval.

Showbiz royalty and commoner alike, they were all on their feet by the end, giving Love Never Dies a reception not mirrored by theatre critics, who, like the Phantom’s face, are split down the middle on the musical’s merits.

For the anti- side, the plot is the main problem. One internet wag dubbed Love Never Dies, “Paint Never Dries”, while at the other end of the scale, the Telegraph’s Paul Taylor thought it Lloyd Webber’s, “finest show since the original Phantom, with a score blessed with superbly haunting melodies and a yearning romanticism that sent shivers down my spine.”

A calm-eyed veteran of these events, Lloyd Webber made it clear it’s the opinion of punters that he respects the most.

“As a child, I went to see The Sound of Music, and while the critics were less than kind about the glorious Rogers and Hammerstein score, I could find no fault,” he said.

“You see, the public is the critic, and that show ran for years, becoming iconic.”

Wise words made easier to say with advance ticket sales of £8 million in your back pocket.

Tickets for Love Never Dies are available here.