Les Misérables (West End) Review

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Cast

Peter Lockyer – Jean Valjean

Jeremy Secomb – Javert

Rachelle Ann Go – Fatine

David Langham – Thenardier

Katy Secombe – Madame Thenardier

Eva Noblezada – Eponine

Zoe Doano – Cosette

Chris Cowley – Enjolras

Craig Mather – Marius

Date: Wednesday 20th July 2016 (2:30Pm)

Venue: Queen’s Theatre, London

Epic.

Unreal.

Incredible.

Yes, this really was my very first time at seeing Les Miserables on stage. I have no idea in all honesty why I had never made the effort before. I knew and loved so many of the songs for years and heard it was a truly remarkable piece of musical theatre. But for some reason I never got round to seeing this wonderful show. I don’t think there are enough words to help describe the magic this show has, the amazing music, the acting, the singing, the trauma, the heartbreak, the tears and even a few laughs thrown in as well. Is this the greatest musical of all time?

The music is haunting the songs are full of meaning, with each one you feel this is the best song in the show. It really does have so many memorable moments and I quite honestly cannot praise it all enough. I have wasted so much time without seeing this show, I am sure I would have seen it many more times by now. I certainly plan on seeing it more in the future!

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The story follows Jean Valjean who has served twenty years for a crime of stealing a loaf of bread. Javert the police officer on his release vows to always be watching him and ensuring he does not ever have a life. On this quest for a normal life Valjean is given a second chance thanks to a Priest and makes another life for himself. Everything is about to turn when he is partly responsible for Fatine’s downfall so vows to protect and raise her daughter Cosette, whilst still running from Javert.

Everything about the story has you engaged and waiting for the next twist in the tale, as a cat mouse style chase is on between the pair. Then linking into the revolution from young men trying to take a stand to have a better life in France. This does create some brilliant moments around the barricade and really gets you thinking about the fight they are putting up. The gun shots really are piercingly loud! Just a small warning, they are deafening and create an extra mood around the theatre.

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We are given some moments of light (and much needed) relief with Thénardier and Madame Thénardier who really are hilarious. ‘Master of the House’ really does lighten the mood and really help to get over those incredibly emotional moments and songs that have come previously. Luckily they feature at different times to really take the edge of it, this is a very serious and emotional show after all. With brilliant performances from the pair, a pleasure to watch. We certainly need characters like this to make the audience laugh. It is a very heavy going show, but believe it or not the nearly 3 hours (plus interval) really does fly over.

At least now a lot of the songs and things mentioned in Forbidden Broadway make even more sense. I totally understand any references about the stage spinning/moving around and I have to admit that it is used in an effective manner. Something that certainly gives the show that extra edge, especially when it comes to the barricade. The stage is very impressive because of this and it really does create so much depth for the show.

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The performances were outstanding. Peter Lockyer totally blew me away as Jean Valjean I am pretty sure I fell in love with him from start to finish of the show, that is an impressive thing to be able to do when playing a character. The way he gets into it all, the raw and range of emotions he has to go through whilst singing and acting really is something else. Jeremy Secomb was a great pair up with such power and charisma in his voice and performance against Lockyer. It worked so incredibly well very impressive with it being a rather recent pairing.

tn-500_img_4197_zpslpudh369It was great to see Rachelle Ann Go on stage again, when I went to see Miss Saigon two years ago she was covering for the role of Gigi and she really stole the show. I was very excited to see her in the role of Fatine and she certainly did not disappoint, having all of the emotion for the tough role and totally nailing ‘I dreamed a dream’ which has to be one of the toughest songs in musical theatre. Great to see how well she is doing in the West End!

A stand out moment had to be Eva Noblezada belting out ‘On My Own’ in such incredible fashion. I was very impressed with her performance throughout and she really did give us such a treat with that song. So many incredible moments I am sure to miss something from this review. The whole ensemble were just fantastic, it really is such a special show. Has to have the largest cast in a show that I have seen. Was great to see Felix Mosse on stage in the West End a year and two days after seeing him in the Love Me Tender tour!

Les Misérables by Cameron Mackintosh

I really cannot wait to one day see this unique and special show again. It really is something else! I am so pleased to say I now understand why it has so much love and hype surrounding it, it deserves it all and more. So don’t hesitate if you have not seen this before make an effort to see it, I really wish it hadn’t taken me so long to catch up. ‘One Day More’ ‘On My Own’ ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and every other song. With a special mention to the amazing ‘Bring Him Home’ which really does create even more magic. Honestly I don’t think I have even managed to explain how incredible this epic show is! Do you hear the people sing?

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23 thoughts on “Les Misérables (West End) Review

  1. Great review and so pleased you enjoyed it. Your review took me back to the Barbican all those years ago when I first saw it at a preview matinee performance. In those days it was an RSC production and the critics were not kind to it. How wrong they were! I saw it again soon after when it transferred to the Palace Theatre and since then I’ve seen it several times and never tire of it. I really enjoyed the film but to see it live is the ultimate.
    Best musical of all time? – I think it probably is – certainly of modern musicals. After I saw it at the Palace I sent my programme to the theatre asking if the cast would sign it. Not expecting a reply but within a couple of weeks my programme was returned with around twenty signatures! I still have it!!
    In recent years I’ve alternated seeing Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera just before Christmas – a good time to see either one.

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    • Great stuff! I can’t wait to get another chance to go and see it. Such a powerful show it’s quite unreal. The film is a pretty good adaptation but somethings just don’t go from stage to screen. Phantom was very impressive as well. Totally different levels to the brand new musicals we see now, can’t imagine many of them still being around after 30 years.

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  2. I often think London (which I love visiting) is like a different country to the rest of the UK. So expensive even for just a few days. Starting to save up for the LFF. Hoping to stay for a week so will be giving the old credit card a “work out”. As far as theatres and cinemas are concerned I think we do pretty well here in the north east. Would also miss the Virgin train journey if lived in London!!

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    • That’s a good point! As long as you can get the train’s at a cheap price as they can sometimes be ridiculous. My next London trip in a couple of weeks is for the Community Shield Final!

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  3. Ah yes the start of the new football season. Agreed that train tickets can be pricey. I try to book as early as possible to get the best prices. Are you staying overnight when you go for the CSF or coming back straight after the match? I think my next London trip will be October for the LFF.

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    • We are just doing there and back in a day as decided it still worked out cheaper even though the train price was really high. Excited at the possibility of seeing Ztlan play live!

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    • So pleased that passion came through, a really tough review to write to make sure it was clear how incredible it really is and how much I loved it! I know what you mean the buzz was fantastic, at the end people were up clapping from the second it finished.

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  4. I saw the show at the Queen’s last summer with an understudy as Valjean. Coming in, I already had a passion for the musical and knew the show from front to back. Once I heard those first couple of notes, I knew it was going to be more then excepted.

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