We were invited to the press night of Les Miserables #presstrip #ad #gift
Last night we attended the press night of Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of the Boublil and Schonberg musical, Les Miserables at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. The production will play here between 26th November 2019 – 4th January 2020.
Before the show we mingled with other bloggers and enjoyed a glass of wine and some Canapes. I was so excited! Les Miserables is one of my all time favorite musicals. With songs such as “I Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own”, “Stars”, “Bring Him Home”, “Do You Hear The People Sing” “One Day” and many more this musical was going to amaze the audience.
This production is inspired by the hugely successful movie version starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne.
As we took to our seats I noticed the impressive staging. The brilliant new staging is inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo and it had me amazed! Its mad to think that this set has already been seen by those in North America, Brazil, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, Manila, Singapore, Dubai and Broadway!!
As each scene was played out I was amazed by the beautiful art work in the drop back. The creative team really captivated the 1800’s with costume, make up and staging. The set was quite simply amazing and nothing like I had ever seen before.
Set in the 1800’s we follow the story of Jean Valjean who after 19 years on the chain gang, finds himself an outcast. Only the Bishop of Digne shows pity for Jean Valjean who then steals the Bishops silverware. After being captured by the police he is taken back to the Bishop who again shows pity and lies to the authorities about the silverware. After Jean Valjean is giving a second chance, he decides to start his life anew.
The actors were brilliant. I loved them all and it was near on impossible for me to have a favorite. Each character was portrayed with the respect that was needed, Les Miserables after all is a classic that deserves only the best actors and singers.
Jean Valjean was portrayed by Dean Chisnall. He is the protagonist of Les Misérables. The actor had the audience in the palm of his hand with the opening scene! We watched as he tried to integrate back into society after a 19-year-long struggle to lead a normal life, after serving a prison sentence for stealing bread during a time of economic depression. The character was strong, caring and referred to as a saint after he takes in Fantine and then promises to raise her daughter. I fell in love with his kind ways. The actor owned the stage with his perfect depiction of Jean Valjean.
Fantine is portrayed by Katie Hall. She is a young grisette in Paris who becomes pregnant by a rich student. After he abandons her, she is forced to look after their child, Cosette, on her own. Originally a pretty and naïve girl, Fantine is eventually forced by circumstances to become a prostitute, selling her hair and front teeth, losing her beauty and health. The money she earns is sent to support her daughter. Katie Hall was perfect for her role of Fantine, a suburb actor, she owned the stage as she sang my favorite song ‘I Dreamed a Dream’
Cosette portrayed by Charlie Burn. As the orphaned child of an unmarried mother deserted by her father. She is the daughter of Fantine, who leaves her to be looked after by the Thénardiers, who exploit and victimise her. Rescued by Jean Valjean, He raises Cosette as if she were his own. Charlie Burn played the loved up character with ease, her love for Marius oozed on stage. I really enjoyed her singing abilities and loved it when she sang ‘Castle On A Cloud’
Javert portrayed by Nic Greenshields. This character is defined by his legalist tendencies and lack of empathy for criminals. We watched as he becomes obsessed with the pursuit and punishment of Jean Valjean. I was blown away by Nic Greenshields vocals. When he entered the stage you could feel his authority and strength.
Marius Pontmercy is portrayed by Felix Mosse. He is a young student, and the suitor of Cosette. Felix Mosse played the young upper-class man with perfection. We watched as he falls in love with Cosette, joins the French Revolution and almost dies.
My favorite characters of the night had to be the Thénardiers. They are ordinary working-class people who blame society for their sufferings. Madame Thénardier was portrayed by Tessa Kadler, she played the unpleasant innkeeper and husband’s partner in crime so well! Monsieur Thénardier portrayed by Ian Hughes. Ian Hughes was amazing at portraying the thief turned landlord who is bad with money and responsibility. Together they stole the show with there comical stage presence and feisty song and dance.
Last but defiantly not least was Eponine portrayed by Frances Mayli McCann. Frances brought the street-smart eldest daughter of Monsieur and Madame Thénardier to life! I felt really sorry for her, she is in love with Marius but he cant see it. I loved it when she sang ‘On My Own’ another favorite of mine. Frances voice was amazing, it brought a tear to my eye. Such a brilliant performance.
I have never seen Les Miserables on stage and I was simply blown away. I could go on forever about how great the actors were and how amazing the costume, direction and choreography was.
Les Miserables is the best production I have seen all year! You have to experience this fantastic show!!
For more information, please head to – https://www.wmc.org.uk/en/whats-on/2019/les-miserables/