28 May 2010 @ 10:20 pm
Current Mood: disappointed
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21 March 2010 @ 01:05 am
Les Mis Tour: Norwich  
So I saw the Les Mis tour again last night, this time in Norwich. And I actually prefered it much more this time.

Earl and Katie weren't on D: My two favourites. I didn't paricularly like the understudy for Javert, David Lawrence. he was very static, hardly did anything and just spent the whole show looking very uncomfortable. Leigh Rhianon Coggins was perfectly ok as Cosette though, but I was still gutted she wasn't Katie :(

Last time I went I said that I didn't get the hype surrounding John Owen-Jones. Well now I think I get it. This time I actually spent most of the show watching him properly rather than everyone/everything else, and I have to concur that he is pretty epic.

Jon Robyns was much better, he didn't strut around in the background so much like before, and was actually believeable as a leader and generally much more Enjolras-y. I actually really enjoyed his performance last night. Still hate the wig though.

Ashley Artus was still completely WTF as Thénardier. Madalena Alberto was slightly better, she at least didn't shout her way through all of I Dreamed A Dream this time. And I still don't like Rosalind James as Éponine, I can't put my finger as to why exactly but theres just something really off about her performance for me.

And I managed to get a brouchure this time (they'd sold out last time) so yay I an make loads of pretty icons now! :D
Current Music: Michael Maguire - Bring Him Home | Powered by
Current Mood: melancholy
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21 January 2010 @ 07:12 pm
Les Mis - Manchester 19/01/10  
(excuse the quality, it was taken on my iPhone)

Strangely enough, I was actually dreading the day when it began. I put off leaving the house until I got to the "ok I have to go now or not go at all" stage and so didn't end up leaving until 1.10pm. Which actually left me with just the right amount of time in Manchester as I didn't want to get there too early and end up hovering about with nothing to do. It took me ages to get ready, partly because I was dragging my feet so much, and also because I had to stop every five minutes just to check I'd put my ticket in my handbag already as I'd had all sorts of nightmares prior, from going all the way to Manchester and forgetting the ticket, to forgetting to go all together.

My nerves were entirely due to the journey. It's over 120 miles to Manchester from my home which is a long way to drive and certainly further than I have ever driven before, and add to that I'd never been to Manchester before so it was all very much the unknown. Plus I was very worried about what it would be like driving in Manchester, fearing the roads would be like London's (which are hellish). I hate driving in cities, theres always millions of lanes to chose from and one way systems and it's just so stressful. But thankfully the route was fairly simple and borrowing my stepdads TomTom certainly helped. Although the actual motorway bit was a little frustrating due to the weather. Fog, fog and more fog:


As soon as I arrived in Manchester and was parked all my anxieties left and I was just overjoyed and filled to the brim with excitement.

However, I did end up parking in the wrong car park. Which wasn't too much of a big deal, it just meant that all the maps I'd printed off from Google were absolutely no help at all. If I didn't have the maps on my iPhone I fear I'd still be wondering around the streets of Manchester hopelessly lost. I had wanted to go to Paperchase, and because parking in the wrong car park made me completely loose my bearings it took me an hour to find the shop which should of been very easy to find. But find it I did, I was just very cold when I got there and wishing I had thought to wear my gloves.

Getting back to the car and then on to the theatre was a piece of cake, and I found myself outside the Palace Theatre remarkably early at 6.45pm. And later on when I saw the epically huge queues coming out of the car park I was supposed to have gone in I was quite glad to have parked in the wrong one.

The show was good. Very very good. Although London is better

I loved the opening on the Orion, it was very well staged and executed and really looked like a real boat. I had all sorts of images in my head, not really being able to work out how it could be done but it was wonderful. The watercolour backgrounds work really well too, they use actual paintings by Victor Hugo projected onto the back of the stage as backgrounds and the effect is absolutely amazing. Especially during the sewers scenes, the projections moved along the wall along with the actors, so it really looked like Marius and Valjean were actually walking through sewers.

The set designs were also absolutely wonderful, there were so many little details to look at in each scene in the sets it was almost too much to take in but it all really worked. And I loved some of the details, like during Red and Black you could see the sign on the café saying "Café Musain" and there were just lots of little book details like that. When I'd heard that there'd be no turntable I was really confused as to how on EARTH it could work without it, but for the most part I think it managed just fine. The only part I really missed it was after the final battle, and during One Day More, the staging of which really wasn't too my liking and I felt really disappointed by it as its my favourite song. I didn't like the lack of turntable after the final battle because obviously the stage turns and you see Enjolras laying dead on the flag, and to make up for this the barricade parted and was wheeled off stage to reveal Enjolras laying dead in a cart, conveniently in the same cart Gavroche was lying dead in. And it just wasn't effective at all.

The costumes were lovely too, some of them I prefer to the London production. They were much more period accurate, and Cosette looked simply lovely in her new brightly coloured dresses. They didn't change everything though and in some cases the changes were quite subtle.

Wig changes were most noticeable. Javert starts off with no wig, and then later on when it gets to Paris he has chin length hair. I liked the beginning as he looked young and having his hair change so drastically halfway through made his aging really more obvious, but I really didn't like the chin length hair, I'd rather him go back to his usual ponytail at that point. The bishop has no wig which I preferred, I dunno why but I never liked the bishops wig for some reason so I was glad to see it go. Cosette is no longer a brunette, she had a lovely dark blonde colour hair and it wasn't curled in ringlets, just had more of a natural looking wave to it. And then we move on to Enjolras's new wig. Hmm. I was really excited to see it when I found out they'd made Enjolras blonde to better fit his book description, but after seeing it I just wish they hadn't bothered. He didn't just look bad, he looked hilarious. He actually really reminded me of someone and I couldn't work out who until I was on my way home. And then it hit me. < I'm not even kidding, Enjolras's hair was EXACTLY like that. Which also made him very hard to take seriously.

I loved Petit Gervais at the beginning, it was a really small part and would totally go over the heads of anyone who hasn't read the book, but it fit in really well and I just loved that they'd put him in. The little boy (Dylan Jones) was fab as Petit Gervais and Gavroche. I often don't like Gavroche and find him to be just an irritating little kid (I certainly didn't rate him much in London) by Dylan Jones was a real scene stealer, and the good kind of cheeky rather than the type that makes you root for him to be killed off already.

I was really dreading seeing Gareth Gates as Marius, I just knew him as "that prick from Pop Idol" and had alot of preconceived ideas about him and expected him to be rubbish. So it shocked me that he was good. And not just good, but really really good, his performance was one of my favourite things about the production. His voice was good (not Michael Ball good, but who is?) and you could tell from his performance that he's read the brick. He's a really good actor, you really saw the character of Marius grow as the show went on. He was amazing during Empty Chairs at Empty Tables too, he really seemed like a broken man whos just come out of battle, he was hobbling round on a walking stick but also the way he held himself gave the impression that he was in pain and suffering.

It was my first time seeing John Owen Jones and I'm obviously very aware of all the hype surrounding him as an actor. But personally I didn't really get it. Yes he's a very good actor with a very powerful voice, but I dunno. He was no better than David Shannon IMO.

Jon Robyns was pretty bad as Enjolras. He didn't really do a lot with the character and spent most of the show strutting around like Action Man. He had no presence and just isn't the sort of person you'd follow into battle. Maybe I've just been spoilt having David Thaxton as my first Enjolras, I don't know, but Robyns certainly didn't match up (and the god awful perm certainly didn't help matters).

Earl was of course wonderful as Javert. Stars was absolutely beautiful, especially with the new sets and background. And Javert's Suicide was infinitely better, Javert actually jumps off of the bridge rather than the bridge jumping off of Javert. He jumps and is suspended in mid air whilst the background changes to look like a dark water surface. And then Javert (whilst still in mid air) is pulled backwards towards the background and completely disappears into it. Much more effective than rolling around on the floor. I was very stricken when Earl got boos at the curtain call, but then I realised it was probably just people being idiots because he played the "bad guy". Which also irked me because I don't see Javert as a villain, theres more to his character to categorise him as such. But hey ho.

Katie Hall was absolutely precious as Cosette, she was better here than when I saw her in London. As I've said she looked really beautiful in her new dresses and as a blonde, and actually made me think of Alice on several occasions, she had a very childlike and charming quality to her. And I loved how she kept twirling in her dresses.

I wasn't very impressed with Madalena Alberto as Fantine. She wasn't a very good actress and shouted and overacted her way through I Dreamed A Dream and lost alot of its poignancy as a result.

Other than that, there were just littler things that I liked. I liked Luke Kempner as Montparnasse. I liked that Jon Robyns and Gareth Gates played the two policemen with Javert in Fantine's Arrest (so it looked like Marius and Enjolras were police officers). I liked the mob that followed Valjean and the police back to the bishops.  I didn't particularly like the beginning of At The End Of The Day (staging was abit weird). Ashley Artus was abit weird as Thénardier, I couldn't decide if I liked him or not.

Overall though I enjoyed it very much and am very much looking forward to seeing it again in Norwich. I'm also building myself up to maybe try and go to the stage door at Norwich, IDK. I'd love to, but I'm shy and a bit of a social retard, I don't do well at small talk. But I figure how hard can it be to just say "Hi, you were great, I can has your autograph and a picture? :D"
Current Mood: hungry
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19 December 2009 @ 07:47 pm
Exactly one month today until I go see Les Mis in Manchester   Woohooooo!
Current Music: Les Misérables – Original French Cast - Demain (Final 2e Acte) | Powered by
Current Mood: ecstatic
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14 November 2009 @ 10:24 pm
Do you hear the people sing? Why yes, I will  

I just had to buy another ticket, I've been checking the websites religiously and all the good seats are selling like hot cakes and I'm such a seat snob I'd hate to miss is altogether in Norwich due to being too late. I was gonna wait until I started my new job and had an idea of what my days off will be so I could book around it, but I couldn't stand watching the seats get picked off and figured it won't hurt to ask for a day off or to switch my days around. I just pray I don't get asked for a uni interveiw on this day, just my luck!

I just hope its as good a seat as it looks. Rows A and B are being taken out for it, so I'll in fact only be second row from the front. Having never been to this theatre though its hard to judge.

At least now I'm definately seeing it once in Manchester and once in Norwich!
Current Mood: pleased
Current Music: The Phantom of the Opera - The Phantom of the Opera | Powered by
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05 August 2009 @ 09:33 pm
Just bought a ticket to see Les Mis on tour even though I promised myself I'd wait until I had a new job first >< I'm just getting panicky now that I'll be spending a short spell unemployed and at least this way I know I'll be seeing it at least once no matter what. Then if/when I get a new job, I'll be able to buy more tickets. Ideally I'd like to see it 3 times, more if it can be afforded but I doubt it will be affordable unless I somehow get a REALLY well paid job.

I'm very excited already though, I shall be seeing it on its opening night in Manchester. I've never been to Manchester before, so I might try and get there early and make a day of it. I can't check train tickets this far in advance but I suspect I'm going to have to drive (as I think I'll miss the last train when at the show). Which is fine, I'm just slightly concerned with expense as it'll cost me in fuel to get there as well as the £15 to park in the NCP. Hopefully I'll manage on one tank of fuel (I don't see why I shouldn't, Manchester is only 2.5 hours away via car).
Current Mood: pleased
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