Beneath the Mask

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Title: Beneath the Mask
Publisher: Phantom Appreciation Society
Editor(s): Christine Daae, Christine Karrie
Type: newsletter
Date(s): 1993-94 as Masquerade, and then "Beneath the Mask" until 1996
Medium: print
Fandom: Phantom of the Opera
Language: English
External Links:
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Beneath the Mask was a newsletter/letterzine published by the Phantom Appreciation Society, an international Phantom of the Opera fan club.

The first four issues of this fanwork were titled "Masquerade" (sometimes "Phantom’s Masquerade"). The name was changed due to the prior existence of a musical theater zine of the same title. This means "Beneath the Mask" begins with issue #5.

Beneath the Mask published interviews with Phantom cast members, news and reviews, in depth articles on topics relating to the Phantom of the Opera, and letters from fans in which every aspect of the story were discussed and debated. It was sold by subscription to the Phantom Appreciation Society, in Dress Circle in London, and by the Avon Boutique in Canada.

General Reactions and Reviews

Beneath the Mask was limited by geography in its coverage of the Phantom world, for its main writers and publication base were both British. Despite that, BTM managed to cover a globe's worth of Phantom-mania to an extent you won't find in other Phantom publications. All aspects of fandom come under to scrutiny here: ice shows, books, scene analysis, Phantom movies, various cast recordings, and exclusive interviews with cast members from all productions. Where other fan presses have spilt ink on Phantom cartoons and short stories, BTM's main thrust is analysis and hard information reporting.[1]

This time I have what I think is the entire run of the fanzine Phantom’s Masquerade, sometimes shortened to just Masquerade, which ran from 1993 to 1994 and had only the four issues. Like POTO Magazine, it was a fandom magazine that included reviews, letters, information on various versions of the Phantom story, rumors about new developments, and so forth. It was created and distributed by The Phantom Appreciation Society, an international Phantom fan club based in Britain that also put out the Beneath the Mask ‘zine that we’ll also be seeing later.

<...> These [this zine and Silent Night, Lonely Night] were among the ‘zines that relied on fanart for their cover and interior images, as opposed to some others that took the approach of photocopying official artwork or photographs from performances instead.[2]

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1, appears to be uncredited

The first issue (titled "Masquerade") was published in the summer of 1993 and contains 7 pages.

From the editor:

Welcome to the first issue of "Masquerade".

Firstly, I must thank Jill Wark for her vast amounts of help and support in getting the Phantom Appreciation Society started, and for contributing an article for the first magazine. I also want to thank Christine Willetts for her many ideas (including the title) and thoughts, and Grace Owen and Rowan St Clair for doing some artwork for me. Thanks also to Jill Cantelo, of "Dave's Team" for her advice.

I hope that once the Society gains more members I will be able to afford to make "Masquerade" longer and more attractively bound. I would also like to print pieces by members, so please write anything you want - articles, reviews, opinions, questions, responses to other people's pieces, whatever. Artwork would be very gratefully received (b/w photocopies, if possible), though remember that the mask logo is copyright of the Really Useful Group and therefore can't be printed without their permission.

  • about collectables ("Jill Wark, Head of Corporate Sales at Connoisseur of Malvern, tells us about the making of the "Music of the Night" model") (3)
  • The Film of the Musical (5)
  • more things for sale (5)
  • The Phantom in Print (books) (6)

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2 by Sarah Hopkins

The Issue Two (titled "Phantom's Masquerade") was published in the autumn of 1993 and contains 10 pages.

From the editor:

The cover of "Masquerade" now reads "Phantom's Masquerade.., to distinguish it from the stage musical fanzine "Masquerade", which we hadn't heard of when we fixed the title. More details of the other "Masquerade." Later. As you can see, we are trying to start a letters page, so please write in giving your opinion on anything under the sun as long as it is vaguely connected with Phantom in some shape or form. All letters, articles, and artwork are gratefully received.

Christine Willetts has, at the time of writing, changed her allegiance and decided to call herself Christine Karrie, hence the different name on the opposite page. It is liable to change back and forth. Please don't get confused. Just feel sorry for her family...

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3 by Emily Pacey

The Issue Three (titled "Phantom's Masquerade") was published in the winter of 1993-1994 and contains 18 pages.

  • several fan letters, the topic was opinions about various literary renditions of Phantom of the Opera
  • reprint of an interview with Dave Willetts ("This extract is reprinted by kind permission of Mike Gibb, from his magazine "Masquerade". He interviewed Dave Willetts on 22nd, November 1991.")
  • Confessions of a Phantom Addict, or, "Heaven is in the gods" - essay by Rae "Caustic" Dunnill
  • Phantom Gossip (news bits)
  • timeline of Phantom on film
  • The Manchester Phantom, play review by Christine Daae, Christine Karrie, and Sarah Hopkins
  • quizzes and puzzles
  • A Woman's Prerogative, fiction by Cathy Cormany
  • review of the play in Toronto

Issue 4

front cover of issue #4 by Sarah Hopkins

The Issue Four (titled "Masquerade") was published in the spring of 1994 and contains 20 pages.

From the editor:

As you can see, we've dropped the "Phantom's" from our title as it didn't look right. Though we want to avoid confusion with the other Masquerade, we don't really want to change our name after for issues but if anyone things any other name would be much better, tell us on the survey on the back.

  • fan letters
  • cast news
  • interview with Susan Kay
  • info about "The Phantom Recordings," by Christine "Engel" Karrie
  • trivia quiz
  • Journey of a Phantom Fan, or, An Alternative Confession by OG
  • review of Phantom in Manchester
  • Being Raoul, fiction by RC Do Rozario
  • A Last Night in Sydney, review by Amanda Johnson
  • Entr'acte, fiction by Debera Ethington and Lisa Deason
  • Christine (as seen by Erik), poem by Lesley E. Hatch
  • The Garden in the Desert, poem by Lesley E. Hatch

Issue 5

Beneath the Mask 5 was published in Summer 1994 and contains 22 pages.

cover of issue #5

Issue 6

Beneath the Mask 6 was published in Autumn 1994 and contains 26 pages.

cover of issue #6

Issue 7

Beneath the Mask 7 was published in Winter 1994/1995 and contains 24 pages.

cover of issue #7

Issue 8

Beneath the Mask 8 was published in Spring 1995 and contains 26 pages.

cover of issue #8

Issue 9

Beneath the Mask 9 was published in Summer 1995 and contains 26 pages.

cover of issue #9

Issue 10

Beneath the Mask 10 was published in Autumn 1995 and contains 26 pages.

cover of issue #10

Issue 11

Beneath the Mask 11 was published in Winter 1995/1996 and contains 28 pages.

cover of issue #11

Issue 12

Beneath the Mask 12 was published in Spring 1996 and contains 24 pages. The cover is by Paul Day Clemens.

cover of issue #12


  1. ^ "Phantom Books: Anthologies". Archived from the original on 2008-05-09.
  2. ^ the post about the zine on ancientphantom's tumblr