Les Misérables – London

14 Jun

Les Misérables has long been one of the all time classics of London’s theatre scene. And ever since the release of the motion picture starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean the musical’s popularity has reached new highs.

Les Miserable, 2015

Now in its 33rd year the show recently welcomed a new cast to the Queen’s theatre. Dean Chisnall now stars as Jean Valjean – the man who quite frankly gets into a whole lot of trouble for stealing a loaf of bread. Having recently appeared as The Narrator in Blood Brothers (UK Tour) this is Dean’s long overdue return to the West End. Jean Valjean is a role that requires both vocal and acting strength. And Dean is not short on either of those. He manages to give Valjean a vulnerability that makes it easy to relate to the convict who breaks his parole. At the same time his Valjean is determined and strong. He is haunted by his past but knows right from wrong and wants to be a good man. Vocally Dean handles the score with ease, his “Soliloquy” and “Bring him home” being a particular highlight.

David Thaxton continues as Javert until July 21st (Bradley Jaden takes over from July 23rd). His take on the role is unique and perfect in its very own way – Javert being driven by his hunt for Valjean and appearing to be on the edge of losing his mind. Combined with a strong voice this makes for a stand out performance. Seeing Dean and David on stage together is especially thrilling. Watching them literally puts you on the edge of your seat.

Elena Skye’s Eponine is exactly what I expect of the role – rough and a bit run down from what life has thrown at her, yet strong and witty with a will to be better than her parents. Eponine is not the pretty girl from next door and Elena portrays just that. Her “On my own” brings the house down and her longing for Marius is believable without being tacky.

Another strong new addiction to the cast is Amara Okereke as Cosette who does not drift into the “helpless girl” cliché too much which is all too easy with this role. And with her clear voice she manages to express Cosette’s feelings through the songs.

Toby Miles is a solid Marius with a good voice. However, the stand out amongst the students is Samuel Edwards’ Enjolras who shines every time he appears on stage. I will admit I am no fan of his wig – but that might be just me.

The Thenardiers, played by Steven Meo and Vivien Parry, provide most of the comic relief moments of the show with Vivien giving the strongest performance. Her Madame Thenardier is sarcastic to the bone and nasty as can be.

Carley Stenson gives a good performance as Fantine. Her “I dreamed a dream” is full of despair and pulls at the audience’s hearts.

It is great to see Les Misérables is still going strong at the Queen’s Theatre. The show proves that theatre is alive and kicking and will be for many years to come.

If you have not seen the show I suggest you do it now because Les Misérables is having a great year cast wise. And if you have seen the show before: Go again because you do not want to miss seeing all that talent on stage.

Les Misérables is playing at the Queen’s Theatre. For more info and tickets go to https://www.lesmis.com/london.

Find the show on Facebook and Twitter @lesmisofficial .

*More pictures will be added once the new production shots have been released*

 

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5 Responses to “Les Misérables – London”

  1. mphadventuregirl June 15, 2018 at 12:18 am #

    I am a Les Mis fan whose journey began with the movie. Now have seen it live 5 times. A lot of it had to do with timing.

    November 2013- I was a student at Central Piedmont Community College. One of their theatre productions was Les Mis. I saw it once with family and twice as an usher. So I saw it three times in one productions. CPCC- this production felt professional and it wasn’t just students: it also involved the community as well.

    July 2015- My family church choir was in residence at Bristol Cathedral. Day trips were planned for each day. The pilgrimage started in London and to get adjusted to London, my family went up two days early. July 30th: my mom and I went to Queens Theatre to see Les Mis: that was my dream: to see Les Mis in London

    November 2017- Starting September of this year, a new North American was launched and they used the 25th anniversary production. I had two choices to make: either see it in Greenville with my University or see it in Charlotte. My University is only about one hour or so away from Greenville so we we were able for a day trip to see a Matinee of Les Mis and I decided to see it with them because the Peace Center in Greenville is such a gorgeous theatre and it would create a wonderful college memory and also I could help answer questions regarding Les Mis if others had any.

    So timing really played a big part in why I already saw Les Mis 5 times. I still want to continue seeing it. I hope to see it at maybe some local theatre: just to see how a small theatre could maybe pull off a large show. But I defiantly want to catch Les Mis in Spanish.

    • Steffi June 15, 2018 at 6:08 am #

      How wonderful you have seen different production of the show. Thanks so much for sharing your Les Mis journey. 🙂
      Fingers crossed you’ll get to see it in Spanish one day. And maybe return to the London production. 🙂

      • mphadventuregirl June 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm #

        About Spanish: people think I will not understand Les Mis in Spanish. But what people may not realize is just how well I know the show. I am obsessed with the show. I am watched the movie who knows how many times, seen the stage show 5 times, listened to the songs a ton and researched a lot. So I know the musical from front to back so I know the show really well

  2. Hannah June 19, 2018 at 7:15 pm #

    Hi Steffi 🙂
    I always love your musical and “new cast” posts. Sadly, I still haven’t been to London again – my life is crazily busy and there’s just no time. I’d have loved to see Les Mis while Carrie was still in it but whenever I’m getting to London this show is definitely on my list regardless of who’s in the cast at that time. (I have high hopes for a London visit to finally take place once I’ve started my job in October, have my 30 free days/year and a monthly salary.) However, I’m going to go and see a German production of it in an open air theatre near my home town this summer. I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to deal with the German text – knowing the English version by heart – but as long as the performers are good and the music is same, I guess I’ll enjoy it!

    • Steffi June 20, 2018 at 3:06 am #

      Hey! Thank you, glad you enjoy the little review. I haven’t seen a German version of Les Mis (never made it to Duisburg when it was running there). Hopefully it’ll be just as good as the English version. Let me know your thoughts once you’ve been. And fingers crossed you make it to London again at some point. 🙂

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