Finally got an audio where all the principals were on. Have some thoughts about the cast. Note that I'm only listening to an audio - because there are two continents and a channel between London and me, I have to make do with what I have - so those who have seen the show on stage please feel free to correct me if I get something wrong.
Act 1 only at the moment because I'm afraid the whole thing would be too long. Skipped Stars for obvious reasons. (Whoa that's the shortest rant I've ever ranted about Hayden Tee.)
Just want to point out one simple fact: Simon Gleeson was amazing. The way he sang "they gave me a number and murdered Valjean" was awesome!
I have to say, I had really high expectation of Lucy but ended up a little bit...disappointed. Well to be precise I wasn't exactly disappointed, I was just...confused by her portrayal of Fantine here. She started so well with "there was a time..." that I almost thought she would be the first stage-Fantine that I actually like. Her voice was trembling and she sounded so broken and weary. But when she started "I dreamed a dream in times gone by..." she became totally emotionless as if she was telling a story of someone else, and she kept her...cool...until "autumn came".
Then suddenly she was once again the damsel in distress from "I had a dream my life would be..." till the end of the song. I was utterly confused at her change of moods.
"Javeeeeert (low dramatic villainous voice) would you believe it...when this pppprrrostitute attacked me" I actually rofl-ed.
But! But!! But!!! Seconds later Hayden Tee got influenced by the comic moment and did a similar thing in his line! And this time I just...
"you may rest assured monsieeeeeeuur (flirting voice)" Seriously Hayden, this from you, the angriest of angry Javerts?!
On the other hand, the exchange between Fantine and Valjean was great!
Who am I
Simon Gleeson sounded 24601 times more desperate and helpless than most of other Valjeans, which was a total surprise! Wasn't expecting it at all. He was like "Oh Javert you ridiculous fool! Now I have absolutely no idea what to do. Should I confess? I probably should but God help me I really don't want to". The unwillingness to sacrifice himself was really blatant in his soliloquy, compared to many other Valjeans'. Actually the only line he sang with absolute determination was "my soul belongs to God I konw I made that bargain long ago". He didn't hold the epic "oooooooone", which I also took as "Valjean not being so sure about himself and secretly hoping he had not confessed".
Very interesting take of the song in general.
ohmygodohmygod OH MY GOD. Best thing on this recording. Words cannot describe how bad this hurt me.
I might have been a bit disappointed in Lucy before but she totally won me with this song. She was struggling to breathe as she sang in broken sentences. "And I'll sing you a lullaby and wake you in the morning"...I'm not crying. I'm not. You are crying.
And stop torturing my heart, Lucy. (No, please, you are very welcome to do this. Just go and break my heart I don't need it anymore.)
Red and black
This Marius, ugh...I don't know what to say.
He was definitely not the worst Marius but he didn't stand out either. I haven't seen any video but I imagine his style was kind of similar to Rob Hochen? (Is this the correct spelling?) His singing voice sounded somewhat unnatural. I got the feeling that he was *playing* Marius, not that he *was* Marius. And the way he sang about Cosette...hmm, I wasn't convinced that he loved her. He didn't show much desire or despair throughout the song.
Chris was the best London principal Enjolras since 2011 imo. He had the correct voice and also correct looks (judging from the reviews here), so yeah!
In my life
Hehe, Charlotte Kennedy. Her voice wasn't bad per se. High notes would not be a problem for her. But she seemed like the overacting type to me. She got overexcited at some point (like when she was thinking about Marius) and was literally yelling, and then suddenly she became quite again, and a few seconds later she started yelling again. She was better when Valjean came in though. I love the "in your eyes I'm just like a child" bits. Such a cute petulant child.
Ok I'll stop rambling now. Apologize for the Hugo-length post.