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London Cast 2011/2012 
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
Surely, Eppie-Sue, there are always exceptions to Quique’s categorisation. Nonetheless, it is quite clinical, if not entirely scientific.

I asked that “quiet” question because a friend of mine did not notice any exciting progress in AB et al’s acting and singing since their 25AC appearance. And I was just wondering if the quietness of this thread actually echoed the no-sparkling status of the current cast.

I know, we, at least myself, have been so obsessed with Les Mis for so long that we have become a bit greedy for exceptionally good performances by any new casts.

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Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:38 am
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
Quique wrote:
^ Tell me about it. Les Mis fans drop like flies after a few years. Most decide they've seen the show so many times, they have gotten all it can give out of it. This is evident in their millionth review in which a slight change in blocking or interpretation is greatly exciting, fresh, and new. They move on once they notice themselves really stretching it and their once detailed reviews begin to look more like summaries and passion is replaced by obligation. These types tend to not be so big on theatre or musicals and their interest usually stems from one or two aspects that they 'specialize' in, be it literature in general; stagecraft; those darn barricade boys; the rat Eponine; megamusicals; or some original or replacement cast member they have the hots for. Eventually, they run out of material to gush about and so they drop off the face of this earth and occasionally revisit both the show and the fandom because it meant so much to them. This is the majority of fans


Oh, I dunno, in my case I just got distracted by shiny new fandoms consuming all my attention. I'm sure that when I've watched every episode of Doctor Who that's aired since 1963, read all the tie-in novels, listened to all the audio dramas, written reams of bad fanfiction, built a TARDIS as my backyard toolshed, and written cranky essays about how the Utopia episode is a pale ripoff of Genesis of the Daleks, I'll be back to bore you all again. :lol: And that might take less time than you'd think.

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Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:22 am
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
Oh dear, I really hope y'all don't think I was making fun or writing about specific people. Ahhh.

The post is as detailed as it is because I'm a wordy mutha and also because I've been all three myself at some point, so I know from experience. Even so, I wasn't being serious. I don't really go around cooking up Les Mis fandom abandonment patterns. Oh my God, I'm a weirdo but I'm not that boring. LOL. :lol:

EDIT: Btw, I'm aware of your Dr. Who obsession, Orestes. XD And I'm aware of Eppie-Sue's recent going ons and a few others. I follow y'alls blogs. FOLLOW, not stalk. Just wanted to make that clear since just leaving it at "I FOLLOW YER BLOG" could come off creepy. :shifty:

You need to update yours, Eppie-Sue!!

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Last edited by Quique on Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:07 pm
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
I'm still seeing the show a fair amount, the "obsession" is still there for me, I've been writing about it less though because there seems to be lack of interest now, on here at least. It's also a rather time consuming affair! I'm seeing the show on Monday and if people would be interested in reading a review I will happily write one. Still getting the hang of the new cast, I can't even remember all their names yet. I am a bad fan.


Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:36 pm
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
I would certainly be interested to read your review. Though, it is not because I like to be influezed by other people's views before watching a show [my next LM on 7 Oct], but because I have to prepare how to lower my friends' expectation which I have probably raised too high from the current cast. See how obsessed I am.

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Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:26 pm
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
Lack of interest? :wtf:

When it comes to anything Les Mis, I'm ALL EARS.

I'd love to read your thoughts, Elbow.

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Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:48 pm
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
Okay, I'm going to do a little review of last night.

Firstly, it was a calmer atmosphere than I've experienced for ages at The Queen's. Obviously this was down to it being a Jonathan show and Matt Lucas having left. The theatre was still pretty full, but it wasn't sold out.

I'll start with Jonathan, although there is nothing I can really say about him that I haven't said over the last few years. He is as great, subtle and as fantastic as ever. If anything, he has improved. With Jonathan you know exactly what his Valjean is about, there’s so much character development, yet his Valjean stays exactly the same; i.e., you can believe that the Valjean you're seeing in the epilogue is the same man from the Prologue. For someone who has openly admitted never reading the book he has the most amazing grasp on Valjean.

Hadley Fraser as Javert is a strange one for me. His Javert is very angry and it's all very on the surface visible anger. There is a lack of development. He starts off angry and dies VERY ANGRILY. I'm not sure whether he is possibly making up for what he lacks in height with a lot of movement. Personally I have always preferred a more stagnant/still Javert. You should be fearful of him simply because he is there, rather than because of his violent seizuring. However I thought his Suicide was great. Yes, he was flailing all over the place a bit but, I quite liked the madness of his suicide. The problem for me was that it didn't contrast with the rest of his performance. His Javert seemed constantly jerky with his eyes darting all over the place, there was so much grunting and there were points after The Final Battle when he was climbing over the barricades where his facial expression was very "Heeeerrree's Johnny!", it was all a bit too much. Too much violence, grunting and he was just too hands on. I think it really benefits Javert's character to keep a more still exterior, to remain above everyone else, whereas Hadley's Javert is much more pantomime villain, just dying to get his hands dirty. His diction is a bit odd in places, "Till-er we come face to face" "Must pay-er the price"… Too many extra syllables.

Caroline Sheen as Fantine... She looks absolutely perfect. If I had to imagine a Fantine, she'd come very close. I do find her voice doesn't travel particularly well. In “I Dreamed A Dream” there didn't seem to be much of a build up; "And still I dream he'll come to me" just didn't seem to have much passion, it wasn't very big. She also had some rather inexplicable facial expressions. In the arrest she looks like she's sort of exasperated, in a slightly comedic way that suggests "Oh ffs.I've sold my locket, hair and body. What now!?" and I'm sure she doesn't mean it to come across like that, but I've noticed that twice now. Although, her "Monsieur don't mock me now I pray" etc. was delivered really well and she manages to do a fake spit that actually looks realistic.

Now onto our new Thenardier, Cameron Blakely. Wow. Maybe it was just my Matt Lucas based exasperation but, wow. He was really rather excellent. He was funny, but also dark. Not only that, he can sing! He has a really strong voice, his Dog Eat Dog was a complete joy to listen to and dark and sinister, rather than funny. I was thinking in the interval, if he manages to pull off a dark and horrifying Dog Eat Dog, I will love him. And he did! He has a sense of comic timing, but it doesn't override the whole performance meaning that fortunately Thenardier doesn't dissolve into a hilarious role and he still got a great reception. He is also very tall, so him and Katy Secombe contrast each other very well. I really hope my first impressions are correct because if so, he is going to be awesome.

Liam Tamne's Enjolras is getting better and better every time I see him. Yes, he lacks a few things, he still doesn't seem to quite have the authority, but he gives a very strong performance that he is constantly improving. Yesterday I noticed that during the cafe scene, when he sings he doesn't make much eye contact with the students, he looks out into the audience when he sings, I wish he’d make more eye contact with those on stage with him . His Final Battle was pretty good, he gave a really strong passion filled "Let us die facing our foes, make them bleed while we can." but then his "until the earth is free" sounded a little weak. I'm also constantly amused by his 80's wig. He did fluff a couple of lines in the cafe scene but held it together well. The same cannot be said for some of the others who hurriedly crowded around the table with their heads right over the map with their shoulders shaking with giggles. I think it didn't help that Christopher Jacobson almost fell A over T over Gavroche on his way into the cafe. Much amusement.

Craig Mather is a complete all rounder. I think that boy can do no wrong. He's just the perfect Marius.

Lisa-Anne Wood is quite unremarkable in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with her Cosette at all, and she had a lovely voice I just don't know what to say about her. She's there, she does the job, she's not the best but she's certainly not the worst.

And now Alexia Khadime. She's performing, but she's not acting. Her Eponine doesn't work at all. Every word that she sings is sung in a different style. Her "acting" is effectively two facial expressions, (1. BIG GRIN YAY and 2. OH NO I HAVE A SAD. BOTTOM LIP STICK OUT.)and some very stagey slow motion grasping at air with her fingers. That's literally as far as it goes. Her On My Own is just the biggest anticlimax ever. She hits the notes effortlessly, yes but that is probably what's wrong with it. There's no hint of a struggle, no hint of really pushing it to make it into a big song, it just stays at the same level throughout and when she finally sings "I love him" it's not big and sad it's just "Oh you love him do you? That's nice dear." She has SO many different sounding voices, there's no continuity and her favourite voice seems to be this high-pitched baby voice that I personally find completely grating. A Little Fall Of Rain is definitely the highlight of her performance, but other than that I find her performance dull and badly thought out.

Oh, and not really a principal but Adam Linstead's Bishop is pretty good. It's a bit of a shame about his Grantaire. I barely notice his Grantaire and there doesn't seem to be enough interaction between him and Enjolras. I was watching him in The Final Battle and he doesn't even attempt to grab Liam's hand as he disappears from the barricade, which saddens me. And his death is bizarre. He does a sort of slow motion sexy dance at the top of the barricade.

Right. I have to go and do productive things, so I'll stop here. I'll see it again in the next couple of weeks and I'll pay more attention to the fantastic ensemble (whose names I am getting the hang of now!) and I'll write about them next time, just in case anyone's interested.


Last edited by Elbow on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:45 am
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
Thanks for the review!

I'm going next month and to be honest, I'm most looking forward to seeing Craig Mather!

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Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:38 am
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
Thanks for the detailed review.
Strangely, I'll be in London next week, but will not be seeing Les Mis!

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Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:22 pm
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
Wholeheartedly agree about Jonathan's Valjean. He is possibly the most nuanced, subtle Jean I've ever seen. Very smart, honest, and thoughtful portrayal of a character who can easily fall into the same. What I loved most about him is his eyes said everything and you believed it. There was no need to ham it up or to be over the top dramatic. He was always in tune with Valjean and we were always in tune with him. I really, really loved his Valjean.

Nice to know the performances are overall good. I know I have to see it at least once more at the Queen's ("once more" really meaning 20 more, lol).

Thanks for the review!

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Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:52 pm
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
I also enjoyed very much reading your review.

Many thanks, Elbow!

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Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:39 pm
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Post Re: London Cast 2011/2012
Same here - loved reading it and thank you for taking the trouble.


Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:20 am
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