London Cast 2017

Any discussion related to any production or staging of Boublil and Schönberg's Les Misérables.
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Morbidmuch_
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:07 am

I have some more reviews from seeing the show on Friday, now that everything has sort of settled and I actually remember them. :lol:

Lee van Geleen was on as the Bishop, and he did a really great job. He had some trouble stubbing out one of the candles in the Who am I scene, but he got in on the second or third try.

Simon Gleeson was great as Valjean, I really loved his performance. He didn't really hold the "one" note at the end of Who am I for very long, which was a bit disappointing but other than that I have nothing bad to comment on. The nose-bopping thing he did with young/adult Cosette was too cute for words.

I liked Hayden Tee as Javert, which is unsual I've gathered, but I thought he did a great job. Especially Stars and the Confrontation.

I've already raved about Lucy O'Byrne as Fantine, but she deserves a second mention. I think what sold me on her wasn't just that her singing is really bloody great, but that her acting was brilliant. Really loved her in the Fantine's arrest scene, and also in Fantine's death. Her performance gave me chills.

I really enjoyed David Langham as Thenardier; for me he did a great balance between comedic and scary. Katy Secombe on the other hand, I can understand what has been written before about it feeling like she was getting tired of the role. Overall she was good but she did some growls/screams that just felt out of place to me.

Paul Wilkins was a really good Marius I think. In A Heart Full of Love in particular he balanced nervous and awkward really well, and I loved that he started climbing back up the gate. His Empty Chairs was lovely as well.

I'm a bit conflicted about what I think of Hollie O'Donoghue's Éponine. On one hand I thought she was good because she had the feisty attitude, but quite a lot of her blocking felt awkward. Especially in Look Down when someone from Thenardier's gang (I think) grabs her from behind. Her voice is lovely though, and I really enjoyed A Little Fall of Rain.

Charlotte Kennedy was disappointing as Cosette. Her acting was lackluster to me and I'm not too fond of her voice. She had some moments that I quite liked, but overall I was not impressed.

I'm not sure who played Feuilly (I assume it was one of the swings because Jonny Purchase wasn't on for that performance) but he was really good. He stood out both physically and vocally.

The kid playing Gavroche was also a major let down. He felt like he was sleepwalking through his scenes and his death scene was awkward at best.

Sorry for the essay length of this post :lol:
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Olivia_y
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:59 pm

Morbidmuch_ wrote:Simon Gleeson was great as Valjean, I really loved his performance. He didn't really hold the "one" note at the end of Who am I for very long, which was a bit disappointing but other than that I have nothing bad to comment on

That seems to change from one show to the next. Sometime he could hold it until the music plays out, other times it just fades immediately. Did he do the rock-opera rendition of 'there is POWER in me yet'?

Morbidmuch_ wrote:I've already raved about Lucy O'Byrne as Fantine, but she deserves a second mention. I think what sold me on her wasn't just that her singing is really bloody great, but that her acting was brilliant.

Agreed!

I've noted in more recent shows Hollie's acting is getting a bit...over the top? Like when she first started her 'I like the way you grow your hair' etc. felt very natural, but the last show I went to her movements were all sort of jerky, like she'd get right up in Marius' face and then slam the book back at him. It's...weird. Maybe that's why her ALFoR works for me, since she's meant to be all jerky and in his face lol.

Sigh, the thing about Charlotte is I feel like she could be so good (do I sound like a parent again?), her vocal range fits Cosette, she's able to sound so sad when the scene calls for it, yet she's always just short of hitting right kind of emotional notes.

In other news, Jeremy Secomb has returned to the cast and all is well.

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:25 pm

Olivia_y wrote:Did he do the rock-opera rendition of 'there is POWER in me yet'?


He did :D I'm a real sucker for rock-type voices, I much prefer them over operatic ones (sorry Alfie). One of my favourite JvJ is actually Jonathan Williams, even though he was only an understudy. His voice is amazing.
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Acaila » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:49 pm

Rock voices are so right for Valjean. Like, he's meant to be a dangerous convict, he shouldn't have an overly pretty choir boy voice!
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:46 pm

Killian Donnelly taking over as Jean Valjean from 12th June.

https://twitter.com/killiandonnelly/sta ... 0752598016

(This is it, the cast change announcements are coming...I'm not ready.)

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby deHavilland » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:22 am

What!? Congrats for Killers! Not news I was expecting at all. He did the role totally decently as a swing, but I always felt like he was doing a good job of mimicking other Valjeans than doing his own. I hope this gives him a chance to try and own it, I'd be interested in seeing it. (Kinda surprised they didn't give it to Bayjou.)
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:00 am

I find it odd that he's confirmed it before there's been an official announcement from the production itself.

I'm also surprised they're offering him the role now, being all of 32 (33 in June), rather than in another 5 years or something. Not looking forward to the heavy ageing makeup. I'm guessing it's because he's getting good reviews in New York and is a bigger 'name' in theatre right now.

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:27 am

Oh look what's just been announced: https://twitter.com/WhatsOnStage/status ... 9439692800

New casting has been announced for the West End production of Les Misérables with Killian Donnelly set to return to the show to play Jean Valjean and Carley Stenson lined up to play Fantine.

Donnelly is currently playing Charlie Price in Kinky Boots on Broadway, a role he originated in the West End. His other West End credits include Billy Elliot, The Commitments, Memphis and The Phantom of the Opera. He has also previously understudied the roles of Jean Valjean and Javert in Les Misérables.

Stenson is best known for playing Steph Cunningham on Hollyoaks. Her theatre credits include Legally Blonde, Shrek and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Further cast changes, which will take effect on 12 June, include Steven Meo as Thénardier, Karis Jack as Éponine, Jacqueline Tate as Madame Thénardier and Hyoie O'Grady as Enjolras. Hayden Tee returns to play Javert.

Paul Wilkins will continue in the role of Marius and Charlotte Kennedy as Cosette.

The full company also includes: Emma Barr, Adam Bayjou, Oliver Brenin, Ciarán Bowling, Hugo Chiarella, Andy Conaghan, Alice Ellen Wright, Sophie-May Feek, Catherine Hannay, Antony Hansen, Holly-Anne Hull, James Hume, Ciaran Joyce, Katie Kerr, Rebecca Lafferty, Jo Loxton, John Lumsden, Anna McGarahan, Jonny Purchase, Lauren Soley, Shaq Taylor, George Tebbutt, Lee Van Geleen and Danny Whitehead.

Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's musical is based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel. It includes the songs "I Dreamed a Dream", "On My Own" and "One Day More".

The world's longest running musical, Les Misérables is now in its 32nd year. It originally opened at the Barbican before moving to the Palace Theatre and then its current home, the Queen's Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.

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Olivia_y
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:29 am

So...I was wrong about Lucy O'Byrne and Hollie O'Donoghue continuing on in their roles. Not too surprised with Hollie but shocked about Lucy tbh.

Losing Simon, Jeremy, Lucy and Chris in the one go...oh good lord this is going to hurt.

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:34 am

Olivia_y wrote:Losing Simon, Jeremy, Lucy and Chris in the one go...oh good lord this is going to hurt.
This actually made my day a little worse. Really surprised Lucy isn't staying on, she hasn't been playing for very long has she? Really bummed about Christ as well, he's so brilliant.
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby deHavilland » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:47 am

Nooooooooooooooo, Chris Cowley!!!! We don't have a video of you yet!!!
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:50 am

Morbidmuch_ wrote:Really surprised Lucy isn't staying on, she hasn't been playing for very long has she?

Only since December! Totally didn't see that one coming.

The other three...I'd fully expected (even though I'd hoped against hope), but doesn't make it any easier to take. It looks like Hayden doesn't return until 17th July so I guess that means they keep Jeremy for a month into the new cast. But I think it'd be kind of jarring to see him with Killian, since there's over a decade's age difference between them (in the wrong direction), much like with Adam Bayjou.

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:58 am

deHavilland wrote:Nooooooooooooooo, Chris Cowley!!!! We don't have a video of you yet!!!


This was my first reaction too! :lol:

Olivia_y wrote:The other three...I'd fully expected.


You know this means you're required to get video of Chris before the cast change happens? :wink:
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:00 pm

Morbidmuch_ wrote:You know this means you're required to get video of Chris before the cast change happens? :wink:

You have no idea how badly I want a video of this cast. If anyone know how to film without being thrown out I'd totally give it a go, but I haven't been able to figure it out for myself...

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby 23623 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:41 pm

Olivia_y wrote:Hayden Tee returns to play Javert.

Paul Wilkins will continue in the role of Marius and Charlotte Kennedy as Cosette.

Am I a bad person for kind of wanting Hayden Tee to go? He's been doing his Angry Javert thing for quite some time. I've listened to recordings from Oz, Broadway and London and he hasn't had any slightest improvement. :roll: As for Charlotte...she's probably not yet irredeemable like Hayden I guess? Hope she'll do better next year. :mrgreen:

Morbidmuch_ wrote:
Olivia_y wrote:The other three...I'd fully expected.


You know this means you're required to get video of Chris before the cast change happens? :wink:

I second this! I've heard good things about Jeremy and Lucy but I haven't seen a single video of them. Ah, and there's Simon Gleeson who I've loved since Oz Mis. So please Olivia, go and get us a video! :D
Last edited by 23623 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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