Book: Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Trevor Nunn
Music: Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics: Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer
Adaptation: John Caird
Director: Sally Lyall
Reviewer: Mark O’Neill
Captivate Theatre is back yet again with its largest production of the Fringe – Les Misérables. Returning with arguably the best-loved and longest-running musical in the world, there is no place for error and this production certainly lives up to all expectations.
Like all Captivate productions, this show is filled with passion, humour, musical excellence and natural talent. Don’t be fooled by the ‘School Edition’ label – this adaptation is clever, comical and creatively revives Victor Hugo’s classic novel.
Les Misérables tells the story of Jean Valjean, a prisoner who breaks his parole, and Javert, the police inspector who hunts him. Set in post-revolutionary France, as the story unfolds so too does Valjean’s past.
From the opening beat of the drum and an extremely powerful rendition of Look Down, it is clear from the outset that this theatre group is of professional quality. The entire production is perfect, simplistic in its approach, yet that is all that is required to make this show a hit. Lighting is effective – with red, white and blue outlining the beauty of the Famous Spiegeltent throughout. The use of crates for the set is simple yet highly effective -and the scene changes are very slick.
From beginning to end, the show is faultless; director Sally Lyall has crafted an outstanding production. Mark Scott’s portrayal of Javert is first-class, his rendition of Starstruly emotive. Tom Barclay as Gavroche is hilarious and it is remarkable to see such a young actor perform in such a skilled manner.
Without a doubt, this production would not be what it is without the exceptionally well-polished 15-piece orchestra. The enhanced value that a live orchestra makes is immeasurable.
Captivate’s production of Les Misérables blows every other musical at the Fringe completely out of the water. A musical masterpiece – book your tickets now before it’s too late.
Runs until 29 August 2016