Les Misérables - June 27, 2009 (Queens Theatre, London)


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This was my third time seeing Les Misérables! (This time as a matinee). There will always be some cast members I like better than others, but I really like that the actual production just seems to get better and better. They keep changing things, making it even better - and that's pretty impressive considering how old this musical is! I hope it gets to continue for many more years!

I was really impressed by David Shannon, as Jean Valjean. I saw him a while back in Sweeney Todd (as Anthony) and he really is a great performer. Although he might seem a bit young for Valjean (actually the entire cast looked younger than usual), he handled the part perfectly! Wonderful voice, and great acting talent! Possibly the greatest Valjean.

I also really liked Earl Carpenter as Javert. I saw him in the same part last year, and I think he was even better this year. Not only is he very talented, but he is the first person who has been able to make me understand the character of Javert. This is without a doubt my favourite Javert!

Nancy Sullivan played Eponine again (also saw her in 2008), and she is amazingly talented! For me she really IS Eponine! She's got the right attitude, and although she's blonde she is just perfect for the part. It surprised me a bit that a lot of the more "violent" scenes had been removed or changed (especially noted in the opening scene) but Eponine seemed to get abused or beaten pretty much in every scene.

The new Marius - Alistair Brammer, looked a lot like a very young Michael Ball, and he was really good. I really liked his voice.

I usually don't like Bamatabois (probably because no one seems to do it as perfectly as Gareth Snook, in the 10th Anniversary Concert) but this guy (George Miller) was really great! He could even do the classic "Javert would you believe it"-line, in the correct style. Very good!

This year the program seemed to have some errors in it, and it seems some of the cast members switch roles quite a lot at the moment. For instance we are quite sure Jeff Nicholson played the part of Grantaire (he also played Grantaire in 2006), but the program lists Martin Neely. There was also one of the students that really impressed me but as there's again some confusion in the program and souvenir brouchure I'm not sure if it was Mark Dugdale or Antony Hansen. Maybe they are both great?

However, it was a really nice production - I love seeing Les Misérables and I hope I will be able to see it again.

Cast:
Jean Valjean: David Shannon
Javert: Earl Carpenter
Fantine: Rebecca Seale
Thénardier: Martin Ball
Madame Thénardier: Lorraine Bruce
Eponine: Nancy Sullivan
Enjolras: David Thaxton
Marius: Alistair Brammer
Cosette: Katie Hall
Grantaire: Jeff Nicholson
Young Cosette: Rhianna Hosmer
Gavroche: George Sargeant

My big favourites in this version were Nancy Sullivan, Earl Carpenter and David Shannon.

Program & Souvenir Brochure:

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