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Look dooooooooooooooown, look doooooooooooown. Oh. My. Theatre. Gods.
I went to a preview of Les Miserables with Aunty Penny last week and we were absolutely blown away. I'm still listening to the soundtrack on repeat in my car every day, fantasizing that I'm in the chorus. A lot of people pretend they're the leading roles, but not me. The chorus has such ripper songs in Les Mis.
If you've always thought about going to a musical, stop thinking and book tickets to this now. NOW!
This is one of those shows where it is definitely worth reading a synopsis first because it makes it a lot easier to follow. So what happens?
There's criminals, breaking parole, fake identities, illegitimate children, prostitution, arrests, death, abuse, street gangs, love triangles and more death. That's just act one. Act two has insurgents, spies, a huge battle, a suicide, an estrangement, a wedding, blackmail, a reunion and more death.
It is riveting stuff and I was mesmerized by absolutely everything. For starters, the sets were amazing. After being part of my school's crew for the Rock Eisteddfod in the early 90s and painting about three pieces of canvas, I have a real appreciation for set work. *cough* In all honesty though, I do check out sets and love how multifaceted they can be.
This version of Les Mis used projection on to the back of the set to change locations and to show movement, and many of the images were actually paintings by the main man himself, Victor Hugo. I think the projection could have easily been over done, but it was understated and I really loved the extra dimension it created. The march? Oooooh. The suicide? Woah.
The entire cast was outstanding, but the Thenardiers stole the show. And I'm pretty sure they, um, simulated oral sex at one stage! I KNOW! I was so surprised, as were quite a few people who saw it judging by the laughs and squeals. Such hilarious characters that you love and hate at the same time. Aunty Penny is a huge fan of Lara Mulcahy who played Madame Thenardier, and almost fainted when woman herself tweeted her.
Towards the end of act one the singing gave me goosebumps and I very nearly cried. Yes, I'm one of those people who get so emotional during momentous musical numbers that I blubber. The score is just so moving, so not gonna apologize for that.
If you get the chance to see it, you absolutely must. It's showing in Perth until the end of March and then moves on to Sydney. I'm seriously considering going again because I loved it so much. You can find more information here.
Have you seen Les Mis? Are you a musical theatre fan?