London,lots of laughs and Les Mis…

If you had not guessed it yet, not only am I a bit of a musical fan but so are my family. This Christmas my mum decided to spoil two of my sisters and I by booking a trip to the theatre to see Les Misérables in London. It was a weekend of catch-ups, laughs, shopping and leisurely admiring the not so busy streets of London; Notting Hill and Portobello. Plus a little stressful adventure on a Boris bike but the less said about that the better, back to the theatre…

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Les Misérables opened in the Westend in October 1985,( I had just turned one) that’s an impressive run of almost 33 years and a record-breaking 13,522 performances in London alone. I have to say it’s one of my top five musicals, yet until recently I had only seen amateur productions or the star studded movie directed by Tom Hooper.

So to see the splendour of the live production this weekend, I was left reeling in awe of the staging (you have to see the barricade), the vocals, the costumes and the musical stars. I could see why the production had attracted yet again another sold out crowd.

I think Les Mis maybe a tragic tale but it is also has that uplifting feeling, that those in the right will overcome, love will overcome and though we may hit low depths in life, making the right choices we can again hit the dizzy heights. I think we all relate to Valjean as he portrays the human spirit’s triumph over so many obstacles.

In this summers casting the role of Jean Valjean was played by Dean Chisnall who hit all the right notes in my eyes, leaving the audience in tears. He embodied the secretive, humble, protective Valjean but also the powerful, courageous elements of the character. Battling with Bradley Jadens’ Javert, the self righteous guard, the two foes tell their tragic tale through hard-hitting, powerful solos and physically bowing to each other in interactions, showing who has the upper hand throughout the production.

Carley Stenson, best known for her role as Steph Cunningham in Hollyoaks, takes on the role of Fantine with grace, humility and with a gorgeous haunting vocal. The scenes of her downfall have been perfectly choreographed to see the demise and transformation of her character right in front of the audience. It would also be remiss of me to not mention my favourite character and that which resonates to me personally Eponine, in this production the part was played by Elena Skye who brought me to the edge of my seat with a quavering lip with her rendition of  On my own. 

Bringing humour and at times much needed relief, as well as a lot of colour is the master of the house Thénardier and his wife, played masterfully by Steven Meo and Vivien Parry big characters with big voices.

Supported by a fantastic ensemble this was a well turned out cast and a hardworking crew work night after night to bring this epic musical to the masses. Congrats to all involved and if your in the London and haven’t seen it yet, check it out.

Emer D xx

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3 thoughts on “London,lots of laughs and Les Mis…

  1. mphadventuregirl says:

    My love for Les Mis started with the film, which I had to give TWO chances before really knowing if I like Les Mis or not.

    Then luckily November 2013, the community college I was attending was doing a production of Les Mis plus I was approved to be an usher for the school’s 2013-2014 school year. So I was able to see that production once with my family and twice as an usher. While I may not remember the principal actors that well, I do remember it being a very well-done production where it did not feel like a community college production- this college combines students with professionals with the community. Seeing Les Mis at Central Piedmont Community College really was the motor that led me to developing my dream of seeing Les Mis in London.

    June 2015 hit. Let’s go back to 2013 for a bit: I knew that my family church choir was asked to be in residence at Bristol Cathedral- I wanted to go on the pilgrimage to see the castles and Stonehenge. Than December 2014 comes along, and my parents told me that me that my family was going to up two days early, and that is when I started nagging my parents about telling me to take me to see Les Mis. I was told that month I was going to be seeing a show in the West End, but what musical? I was getting so impatient all Spring Semester- I kept on not getting any answers? Then June 2015- mom texted me emojis of French Flags and Musical Notes- I did not understand what she was trying to tell me so she told me to check my email- I checked and I found out I was seeing Les Mis in the West End in July. I ran up to my mom in tears- my dream was going to become reality. Then July 30th- seeing the Queen’s Theatre, I was like “is this real, it seemed that way all the way to right before hearing the first note- my mom wanted to get me the best seats possible- we were in the 9th row”. Just by hearing the first notes- I knew it was no dream- it was REAL- it was going to be more than expected on both the cast and staging.

    November 2017- my 5th time seeing the stage show, but on tour. So in a very limited amount of time, I saw the stage show 5 times. I was smart this time around: to not compare the actors or the staging to what I saw in the West End. So that way I can the most of what I was about to see.

    Les Mis turned my love of musicals into a passion.

    Like

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