Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Les Misérables (Queen's Theatre) review

Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, a major production, which lies in the league as The Phantom of the Opera, tells of the story of Jean Val Jean, an ex-convict who could not escape his past.

Like the Phantom, Les Mis has been conducting a couple of world tours and has been in Singapore for at least once if my memory serves me right. I've never watched the play when it went to Singapore but I've been told that the travelling cast is nowhere as good as the one based in London.

Probably because of the thinking that Les Mis might visit Singapore again, we were never too eager to catch it in London , giving preference to lesser known plays that would never set foot in Singapore.

Well, when we finally decided to watch it last Saturday, it totally blew us away. Oh yes, it did.

Cast

This large scale production boost a cast of more than twenty (I suspect much more) members. With a couple of recognizable characters, it's not possible to recycle actors and actresses to take on more than one role.

Though the main characters (there are a couple) generally possesses well endowed voices, the main actor to look out for is the one who take on the role of Javert, a policeman who was bent on capturing Jean Val Jean. His baritone voice carried through the theatre magnificently and you could feel his anguish when faced with the dilemma towards the end of the play.

Also look out for a boy who acts as Gavroche, a young street urchin. His clear and cheeky voice captures the hopes of the youths in the chaotic situation that engulfed 19th century France.


Props

But what distinguishes Les Mis from the rest is its use of the 'circular' stage. By rotating the stage and the clever use of lights, props and settings can be changed while causing absolutely no disruptions to the play.

In fact, scenes that depict people walking along distances were done seamlessly. Look out for the scene when Jean Val Jean carried an injured Marius through the sewers and you'll know what I mean.


Verdict

Les Mis, without a doubt is worth the relatively high ticket price of £41.25 (inclusive of TKTS's admin charge). You can also book your tickets here to prevent disappointment.

To those who have read the 1200-page original unabridged version, this play will bring to life those characters that have been so strongly portrayed in what was purported to be the story of the century.
Even to those who are unfamiliar with the turmoil that swept 19th century France, Les Mis will prove to the story very well indeed.

For more information on the Les Miserables theatre break or theatre and hotel deals in London visit www.justlondontheatrebreaks.com


Read also...
The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre) review
Wicked - The Musical (Apollo Victoria Theatre) review

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17 comments:

eastcoastlife said...

awww.. lucky you!
Great play isn't it?
I love it so much!!!

capybara said...

Thats one great thing about living in London, you get to see all the great plays that are constantly on show there. I have not seen it myself but I am glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the review.

The Caesar said...

Nice blog, Kelvin! Missing you and the gang around the office in SF.

LadyBanana said...

Ahh I see you have also added the SezWho... but, I am wondering why is mine looking so different to yours?

Yours looks much nicer than mine which shows the rating stars and a link to another profile.. what did you do?

LadyBanana said...

I think I may have found the answer..LOL

C K said...

@ecl,
Did you catch it when it went to Singapore? I was just a poor student then. :0

I think the smaller theatre over here makes the performance more... personal, I would say.

C K said...

@capybara,
You should really try to catch it the next time you're in London! Like what you said, I really enjoy having the plays so near to me. At least I don't have to wait a couple years for its round the world tour.

C K said...

@the caesar,
Thanks! Do drop my more often, yah?

C K said...

@ladybanana,
Yep, just installed SezWho. But still having some problems with it... the logo somehow doesn't show up... unlikee ecl's. Sigh.

waitingkitty said...

Oh...I watched it 16 years ago in London with my ex-boyfriend who was studying there then. It was really wonderfull, isn't it? I really loved it.
Your post makes me wanna watch it again. :D

Jasmine Shanea said...

To be honest, I haven't seen it!! Never been the play/theatre/opera/musical kinda person.

Then again, I live and breathe my job. How no life can I get? lol..

This is a sign I should get out more lol.

Btw, I'm not totally exiting the blogosphere but rather just taking things a tad slower. I'm still considering joining SezWho. lol...

take care my friend!

C K said...

@waitingkitty,
You should! While you're here, do catch the rest along Shaftsbury as well!

C K said...

@jasmine shanea,
You're really that busy huh? Don't neglect your husband though... :)

But you should really try watching one. Try to go for a big production and I'm sure it'll make you a convert.

And... while you're at that, join SezWho as well!!

My Bug Life said...

I have not watched this musical but I have always liked the poster picture. You should catch the London show..:D

C K said...

@my bug life,
Hey... your comment shows that you've not read the entire post, lol.

We did catch the show actually...

WebbieStuffs said...

Great review. I hopw i will see it one day but I dont know if it is available around here in the Netherlands.

C K said...

@webbiestuffs,
Thanks! Pardon my ignorance, but may I know what's the national language of Netherlands? May prove to be difficult if it's not English... or French for that matter.