Lyrics: Alain Boublil & Jean-Marc Natel
Additional Lyrics: Herbert Kretzmer
Music: Claude-Michel Schönberg
Director: Lawrence Connor and James Powell
Reviewer: Jane Fleming
Almost a decade has gone by since Les Misérables last embarked on a sell-out UK tour. Whilst remaining a favourite in the heart of London’s West End and following a successful Hollywood movie adaptation, the critically acclaimed musical is once again taking the country by storm.
Les Misérables is an iconic story of an ill-fated band of intertwined lives, in a city torn apart by revolution. The story conveys to the viewer; the raw, gritty, and often melancholic perspective of nineteenth-century France.
Matt Kinleys’ set, although different from the original London run and its revolving stage, still feels seamless, almost as if it has a life of its own. Offering fluid and flawless transitions between the various locations and scenes, the audience is drawn in with its breath-taking illustrations, inspired by Victor Hugo’s artistry. The scenery coupled with 59 projections’ clever, yet harrowing depictions of the sewers underneath the streets of Paris, with imagery portraying a squalid and almost endless maze of tunnels. This use of visual theatre is incredibly powerful during Javert’s Soliloquy.
The prologue introduces the audience to protagonist Jean Valjean (Killian Donnelly), a member of the chain gang who is receiving his parole. Due to his history of being a prisoner, he is condemned to now live his life as an outcast, before the story offers him a chance of redemption.
Donnelly’s portrayal of Jean Valjean depicts him as an incredibly strong, compassionate and humble lead, a brilliant contrast to the towering and intimidating Javert, performed magnificently by Nic Greenshields. Another stunning performance comes from Katie Hall, whose rendition of Fantine is nothing short of perfect. Hall’s execution of Fantine’s tragic fall from grace demonstrates her extraordinary vocals, while offering an eloquent and heart-breaking interpretation.
Comic relief comes in the form of Sophie-Louise Dann and Martin Bell whose delivery of Madame Thénardier and her dodgy land-lord husband bring some much-needed laughter to an otherwise sombre show.
Standout performances come from the ensemble. There are no weak links, each voice is pitch-perfect offering impressive harmonies which are simply captivating. Not only that but the cast play a variety of roles, each as individual as the principal characters, however, no less important to development of the story.
With its sung-through score and impeccable cast, set amongst a backdrop of the French Revolution and the degradation of society, Les Misérables is a masterpiece which is well-deserving of its immediate standing ovation from the audience.
Runs until 26 October 2019 | Image: Contributed
STRICTLY LIMITED AVAILABILITY. CHECK DAILY AT BOX OFFICE FOR REMAINING SEATS