London Cast 2017

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23623
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby 23623 » Sun May 21, 2017 9:01 am

CC21106 wrote:
23623 wrote:Sorry for the slightly off-topic rant...but some musical-Rs really annoy me. I hate hate HATE the "bottle penis" thing. :evil:
It's pretty crude. I wouldn't want my mother to see it.

YES IT IS.
I've also seen a Thenardier who goes to have sex with his wife after they get the money from Valjean. I HATE sex jokes in the show. They're so inappropriate and so gross.

I'm wondering if these jokes and the violent fighting in Confrontation, like shippy E/R moments, are of fan service as well. I don't think I've seen that many "bottle penis" Grantaires or sex-machine Thenardiers in earlier productions. The Confrontation in OLC is nothing like what it is now. When you listen to OLC you can feel that Colm and Roger were at least negotiating in a civilized manner. Actually Valjean knocking Javert out in order to escape is already OOC to begin with, and having Valjean strangle Javert (I think it was the 25AC tour that started this?) is just too much for me, seriously. But maybe the audience like to see some intense, actual fighting? I don't know. *shrugs* Can't say much about E/R as I don't have slash sensors, but it makes sense if it has become an official ship by popular demand lol.

Olivia_y wrote:
23623 wrote:One thing I noticed is that Simon Gleeson was calmer than most of Valjeans in this scene.

Lol, that's gunny 'cos he does that thing of pushing Javert to the ground, which is...not calm at all :lol:

:shock: :oops: *facepalm*
See, there's another reason we need a video of this cast! *pokes Olivia again* Go and get one. You still have one month's time!

Olivia_y wrote:
23623 wrote:One thing about Jeremy: I heard that sometimes he actually cried during Suicide?

Can't say I've noticed actual tears, but he does sound shattered throughout the whole thing, but also sort of veers between distress/anger (on some nights he shouts a lot of the lines, which is...unsettling). I love it when he plays up the distress and tones down the anger, and wouldn't be surprised if he does cry on occasion.

So actually Jeremy is more on the angry side as well? :shock: I mean not the Hayden-type angry but somewhat angry, or at least angrier than Carpenter?
I love Voice Of Reason Javerts so, so much. Angry Javerts just don't appeal to me in general. There are a few exceptions though, depending on their acting...did I say that we really need a video of this cast? :wink:

I was talking about Will Swenson with a Jeremy fan the other day. I said I dislike Swenson for many reasons but there was one show where he got very emotional and could barely control his sobs in Suicide. It really broke my heart to watch him cry. :cry: Then she told me Jeremy also cried quite often during Suicide. That's why I asked if you have seen that on stage. :oops: Poor Javert. I would have cried with him had I seen Les Mis on stage.
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Sun May 21, 2017 12:31 pm

Olivia_y wrote: He also appears to have decided that shirt buttons are for the weak...which I'm definitely not complaining about!


This made me laugh out loud and got me some strange looks from the other people on the train :lol:
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Tue May 23, 2017 1:27 pm

23623 wrote:I HATE sex jokes in the show. They're so inappropriate and so gross.

There's an entire song about prostitution that's not even a little bit subtle, so I wouldn't say sex jokes out of place in this show :wink:. The Thenardiers are pretty crass characters too.

23623 wrote:I'm wondering if these jokes and the violent fighting in Confrontation, like shippy E/R moments, are of fan service as well.

I wouldn't know about the very early productions, but since stage directions say 'Valjean fells Javert' I don't think that moment of violence can really be removed. I mean I'd prefer if he escaped in a less violent way as well, but it'd be difficult to portray that on stage.

As for E/R, I'd say the 'intensity' of it definitely increased in recent years. There was always some element of it (at least as far back as the TAC) but yeah, it was much more subtle. But I think with the boom in the teenage fanbase after the movie it became a lot more overt. Plus the more demonstrative Es (like Thaxton) got very good responses, so I wouldn't be surprised if that trend continued. (In one show I was sitting next to some shippers who audibly squeed every time E and R interacted, it was amusing at first but got annoying real fast.)

I think Chris Cowley has become more receptive to E/R as time goes on. In the earlier versions he was a lot more no-nonsense with R, like in DWM he'd comfort him briefly, take the bottle and move away. Now he pretty much stays with R, practically necking until Marius' part. Although that might be because it's a different R and they have different methods I guess.

23623 wrote:Actually Valjean knocking Javert out in order to escape is already OOC to begin with, and having Valjean strangle Javert (I think it was the 25AC tour that started this?) is just too much for me, seriously.

Ah, I'd forgotten about the chain from the new production. Yeah, that was way too much, I don't think JVJ would risk accidentally killing him like that.

23623 wrote:So actually Jeremy is more on the angry side as well? :shock: I mean not the Hayden-type angry but somewhat angry, or at least angrier than Carpenter? I love Voice Of Reason Javerts so, so much.

You should watch the 1978 movie! Anthony Perkins is about as calm as you get lol (but of course he doesn't sing).
Yeah I'd say Jeremy's Javert has angry edge, but never in a 'about-to-lose-control' sort of way. I remember thinking he was too aggressive back when Peter Lockyer was JVJ, but since Simon started not as much. (Funnily enough I thought Simon was too aggressive back in Oz and with Hayden, but less so with Jeremy, it's like a weird push-pull sort of balance).

I just realised that when Killian joins the cast we'll have a JVJ that's taller than Javert, which I don't really like. I can't remember how tall Hayden is though. On a random side note: he's currently playing a role that requires him to wear high heels, so between him and post-Kinky Boots Killian, we can have JVJ and Javert confrontationing in stilettos :lol: ).

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Wed May 24, 2017 5:24 pm

Olivia_y wrote:I think Chris Cowley has become more receptive to E/R as time goes on. In the earlier versions he was a lot more no-nonsense with R, like in DWM he'd comfort him briefly, take the bottle and move away. Now he pretty much stays with R, practically necking until Marius' part. Although that might be because it's a different R and they have different methods I guess.


When I saw him (Which was over a month ago already. Sad times :( ) it was kind of inbetween what you described. Not anywhere near necking but kind of prolonged comforting before taking the bottle. I still got the sense that Grantaire was way into it more than Enjolras, but maybe that's me being biased with previous knowledge :)
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby CC21106 » Wed May 24, 2017 9:19 pm

23623 wrote:....I've also seen a Thenardier who goes to have sex with his wife after they get the money from Valjean. I HATE sex jokes in the show. They're so inappropriate and so gross.
They are uncalled-for. Hugo can be funny, but not that way, and I don't think it was just him being Victorian.

I'm wondering if these jokes and the violent fighting in Confrontation, like shippy E/R moments, are of fan service as well.
Depressing idea.
I love Voice Of Reason Javerts so, so much.
He's supposed to be a very upright person, which does not map to angry, though people think it does. He's logical by his own premises. When one of his premises gets knocked out from under him he collapses. He can't make the world make sense any more, as if he suddenly found himself in one of those Escher staircase pictures.
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Mon May 29, 2017 5:45 pm

Starting to see tweets regarding the new cast, and it makes me a bit sad. And excited at the same time. These are confusing times. Are any of you London-based fans going to West End live?
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Mon May 29, 2017 11:33 pm

Morbidmuch_ wrote:Starting to see tweets regarding the new cast, and it makes me a bit sad. And excited at the same time. These are confusing times.

Yeah the official account has been retweeting stuff from the new cast members since the announcements were made. I really do feel ridiculous at how attached I feel towards the current cast I just can't get excited. I want to be excited about Killian returning to the West End but I just don't want to think about Simon leaving. Maybe in a few months I'd have a complete turnaround (I certainly have in the past) but for now :( .

(The new Enjolras (from what pictures are available) seems reasonably good-looking but until he gets on the stage we won't know whether he has the kind of presence Chris does.)

Morbidmuch_ wrote:Are any of you London-based fans going to West End live?

I hope so! Anyone who's been before got advice on when to arrive/best vantage points?

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:56 am

23623 wrote:Don't know if it's just me but seriously seeing people cry on stage does cruel things to my heart every time.

Simon cried during the Epilogue last night! I don't know if he always does and I've just never been sitting close enough to notice or if he's extra-emotional because it's his last week, but there were tears!

I also sat one seat away from someone who probably has the worst theatre etiquette ever - checking her phone (we were so close to the stage there's no way the actors wouldn't have noticed, at one point an usher was gesturing at her to put it away), talking to her partner throughout, and eating crunchy foods (no one should be allowed to crunch while Fantine's dying dammit!)

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:13 am

Olivia_y wrote:Simon cried during the Epilogue last night! I don't know if he always does and I've just never been sitting close enough to notice or if he's extra-emotional because it's his last week, but there were tears!


Is it the last week already?? :shock: :cry: I'm not ready for that yet.

Olivia_y wrote:I also sat one seat away from someone who probably has the worst theatre etiquette ever - checking her phone (we were so close to the stage there's no way the actors wouldn't have noticed, at one point an usher was gesturing at her to put it away), talking to her partner throughout, and eating crunchy foods (no one should be allowed to crunch while Fantine's dying dammit!)


Things like that piss me off like nothing else :x It's the same at the cinema, put your damn phone away and enjoy the movie ffs!
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:18 am

Morbidmuch_ wrote:Is it the last week already?? :shock: :cry: I'm not ready for that yet.


Me neither! :cry: I'm going to the muck-up matinee on Saturday and I'll probably be a bit of a mess.

As much as I love this cast I haven't actually gone to the stage door for any of them, maybe I'll work up the nerve to do it this weekend (although I get the feeling it'll be pretty crowded).

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:54 am

Random sidenote: I noticed that Adam Bayjou and Simon Gleeson does the nose-bopping thing at different points. Adam does it during (bop on italics) 'Cosette shall have a father now' and Simon during 'where I go, you will be'. This is information no one needs, but I will mention anyway because I need to remember everything about their performances.

A detail of Simon's I like: after the barricade falls and before he drags Marius into the sewers, he takes a moment to look up at all the other bodies on the barricade. He has his back to the audience so you can't see his expression, so it can be interpreted as shock or despair or just whatever it is one might feel when confronted with so much death.

Speaking of details, a small thing Jeremy does I really love is right before the suicide, during the line "I am the law and the law is not mocked'. By that point Javert's completely dishevelled, his uniform is half-unbuttoned and the coat is open. On that line he haphazardly fastens two of his coat buttons, like he's trying to put himself back together. Of course in the very next scene the buttons are undone again.

(Given how many actors have played these roles I doubt these are unique or original, but I like that they make these acting choices)

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:38 pm

And suddenly, the final day for this cast is here. It honestly feels like they've only just started; in a way that's sort of true, I'm used to casts lasting for at least a year, but this one was a bit out of the ordinary I guess, with cast members been swapped in and out for international tours etc. All four of my favourite performers are leaving, so please allows me to indulge in a little pre-show wallowing.

I've been in London since last September but it's only really been in the last 6 months that I'd become so attached to a cast - Peter Lockyer and Rachelle Ann Go - who by all accounts are wonderful performers - just never had the sort of impact Simon Gleeson and Lucy O'Byrne did. I've mentioned that I saw Simon's JVJ back in Oz, but he really took it to another level in London - he had all these nuances that weren't quite there before, and it felt to me that he wasn't so much playing the character as inhabiting that role. Lucy was a true revelation and I still can't believe she's leaving the role after such a short time, I really hope she returns to it in the near future.

And Jeremy Secomb...I don't think I can really give a coherent opinion since I just might be (a little bit) madly in love with him.

Chris Cowely I've already gushed about extensively, so I'll try to refrain from doing so again here. I didn't really warm up to him until he'd been playing the role for a few months. I mean I immediately found him strikingly attractive but I think the intensity was too much at the start and he was still finding his 'take' on the role. But once he found it, boy did he own it.

(I ended up going up to him at the stage door the other night, and...he really needs to come with a warning sign. You think he has an intense look on stage? Imagine him right in front of you looking straight into your eyes like that (seriously, he doesn't turn off the intensity), it's like being electrocuted and I was reduced to a giddy teenager (which I haven't been for quite a while now), it's truly ridiculous. Surprisingly though he didn't have that many fangirls flocking up to him (not more so than those who are trying to get a 'full set' of Barricade Boy signatures); he's not very active on social media and hasn't had that much exposure so that was probably a factor).

As for their replacements, Hayden Tee is a known quantity and not one I'm enthusiastic about. Killian Donnelly is a semi-known quantity since he's understudied the role before, and there's quite a bit of excitement about his return from the fans of his barricade/movie days, but I'm struggling a little with that. Carley Stenson I have no idea about since I don't watch British soaps, but I'm holding out a bit of hope that since she's an actress, she'll act the role as well as Lucy did. Hyoie O’Grady I also have no idea about, but he looks quite cute (and he's blond!) and very tall, so physically he'd probably be a great fit - it all comes down to voice and stage presence.

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby 23623 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:18 pm

Olivia_y wrote:Random sidenote: I noticed that Adam Bayjou and Simon Gleeson does the nose-bopping thing at different points. Adam does it during (bop on italics) 'Cosette shall have a father now' and Simon during 'where I go, you will be'. This is information no one needs, but I will mention anyway because I need to remember everything about their performances.

A detail of Simon's I like: after the barricade falls and before he drags Marius into the sewers, he takes a moment to look up at all the other bodies on the barricade. He has his back to the audience so you can't see his expression, so it can be interpreted as shock or despair or just whatever it is one might feel when confronted with so much death.

Speaking of details, a small thing Jeremy does I really love is right before the suicide, during the line "I am the law and the law is not mocked'. By that point Javert's completely dishevelled, his uniform is half-unbuttoned and the coat is open. On that line he haphazardly fastens two of his coat buttons, like he's trying to put himself back together. Of course in the very next scene the buttons are undone again.

(Given how many actors have played these roles I doubt these are unique or original, but I like that they make these acting choices)

JVJ checking other bodies isn't new actually. I've seen it in some non-English productions but I'm not sure if it's common in London and Broadway as well. I always skip the Final Battle when watching boots from standard productions so I really don't know. But I do love the detail very much! Makes you think “if only Valjean could bring them all home”. :(

The coat buttoning thing is indeed common though. But it can be really hilarious if not done right. :lol: Go and watch the guy from the 2008 Amsterdam production. He's so funny when he buttons his coat...and in fact he's like that for the entire song. His rendition of Suicide never fails to cheer me up whenever I'm in a bad mood. :lol:
Last edited by 23623 on Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:16 pm

Olivia_y wrote:Chris Cowely I've already gushed about extensively, so I'll try to refrain from doing so again here. I didn't really warm up to him until he'd been playing the role for a few months. I mean I immediately found him strikingly attractive but I think the intensity was too much at the start and he was still finding his 'take' on the role. But once he found it, boy did he own it.

(I ended up going up to him at the stage door the other night, and...he really needs to come with a warning sign. You think he has an intense look on stage? Imagine him right in front of you looking straight into your eyes like that (seriously, he doesn't turn off the intensity), it's like being electrocuted and I was reduced to a giddy teenager (which I haven't been for quite a while now), it's truly ridiculous. Surprisingly though he didn't have that many fangirls flocking up to him (not more so than those who are trying to get a 'full set' of Barricade Boy signatures); he's not very active on social media and hasn't had that much exposure so that was probably a factor).


Just reading this section reduced me to a giddy teenager :lol:
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:04 am

So notes from the muck-up: not much that was out of the ordinary as far as muck-ups go, I had hoped Paul would do the 'lick' during Red and Black but that didn't happen, then again it wasn't his last show. Also, Éponine wasn't in ECaET - I personally don't think she should be, but for a muck-up it would've been nice.

- Some change-ups in the ensemble, so Felix Mosse was the second traveller at Thenardier's inn for 'MotH' instead of Will Jennings, and Andy Conaghan was the drunk guest at Mariu's wedding instead of Lee Van Geleen;
- During MotH, Katy Secombe (M.Thenardier) was making out with pretty much everyone, and there was practically an orgy going on in the background;
- Lyric change during 'Look Down': 'something for a crust of bread in holy Jesus' shame'
- Two 'gamins' run in during 'Red and Black', one of them I think is Josie Kemp, but not sure about the other.
- Not sure if this counts, but during 'IML' Marius and Cosette press their left hands together instead of their right.
- Éponine gets her kiss in 'ALFoR'

Morbidmuch wrote:Just reading this section reduced me to a giddy teenager :lol:

Oh and he also wears his shirt halfway unbuttoned offstage as he does onstage :lol: Some cast members are unrecognisable out of costume (even if they have the same haircut etc.) because of their demeanour etc., but he's pretty much just Enjolras in street clothes.


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