'When you see it you believe it': Phantom of the Opera's first black female lead hopes to inspire

Lucy St Louis speaks about being the first black performer to be playing the lead role in The Phantom of the Opera. Video report by ITV News Reporter Faye Barker

For the first time, a black performer is playing one of theatre's most iconic female leads in the West End.

The Phantom of the Opera opened this week after a lengthy Covid break, and as the hit-musical returned to the stage, it opened with Lucy St Louis playing Christine Daaé - a role that was made famous by Sarah Brightman 35 years ago.

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The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has been a constant global hit ever since.

St Louis hopes that by simply being in the role, others will see a door opening to them.

She told ITV News: "I never saw women in lead roles that look like me, and I was always kind of told that you're going to be playing certain roles. And they were roles that were made for black performers."

She added: "I want everybody to know that they can be in this position because when you see it you believe it."