It’s true, up until now, I had not seen Les Mis on stage!
I had obviously been aware of it for ages, but never really understood the hype surrounding it. Therefore, a few months ago, I watched the film version and I fell in love. Then it progressed…
When I first watched the film, I admit it did baffle me slightly-, as it is a very complex story that requires some concentration, especially for first-time viewing. However, I was somewhat surprised to find myself falling in love with it anyway, and I have been obsessed with the soundtrack ever since. I know that feelings towards the film are mixed, but I really like the cast and I thought they pulled it off brilliantly. I also believe that although the premises of the stage and screen stories are the same, they are different mediums and that there are differences or pros/cons in both.
As for the show (which in all honestly, I booked it on whim a few weeks prior as I found a brilliant offer and my friend hadn’t gotten round to seeing Carrie Hope Fletcher as Eponine yet but was keen to). I was so excited to be seeing it on stage, especially after loving the film, and I wasn’t left disappointed.
Honestly, I thought everything about the show was incredible.
Just to give you a point of my personal experience: we were to the left of row D on the highest tier- as this was all we could afford. We were fortunate in the fact the two seats next to us were free, so we were able to shift over which gave us a fraction of better view. It was very high up (in example, we were almost level with the chandelier!) but it was actually an excellent view for the price we paid (down to £20 from £35) and there was only one spot of the stage that you struggled to see unless you leaned forward, but I would recommend those seats.
For the cast, there were a few understudies present (which meant I was slightly sad that I couldn’t see Bradley Jaden as Enjolras!), but this was due to the fact they are undergoing a cast change and some of the cast are on holiday. However they all did an incredible job, and were all on point. In fact, Carrie gave me chills in her solo; I think she will be sorely missed. I also had shivers during “One Day More”; it was iconic- I just wanted to join in!
The sets and costumes were a masterpiece too, I was intrigued to see the difference in how they would be portrayed in comparison to the film, but they were amazing. Especially the Barricade, I was in awe of how incredible it looked. Every detail was paid attention to, and the movement between scenes was genius.
Again, I didn’t want to compare it to the film too much, but I was surprised to discover the differences, such as the order of some scenes/songs, as I didn’t look into the show too much before going as I like the element of mystery but it was interesting being able to know, appreciate and admire both versions.
Finally, as much as this isn’t really a constructive “review”, as I have nothing bad to say about it, but I would just say if you love musicals, this show is a MUST. It’s filled with struggle, strength, love and power. I’m so glad I can finally understand it’s longevity and why it’s so loved. I have no doubts that it will stay for many more years!
Do you have a Les Mis story? Tell me below!