London Cast 2017

Any discussion related to any production or staging of Boublil and Schönberg's Les Misérables.
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CC21106
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby CC21106 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:30 pm

I had no idea they did this, but of course it makes sense.
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby deHavilland » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:50 pm

It's a very RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) thing to have principal performers appear on stage in ensemble roles. Only Javert and Valjean don't, and Fantine would have been in more if The LuPone wasn't such a diva.
"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 Acaila » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:13 am

Playing Spot the Enjolras is one of my favourite things to do in Act 1. Jason McCann as a hugely over enthusiastic judge in Who Am I, Chris Jacobsen as a space cadet factory worker in At The End of the Day....once you know what to look for they're not too hard to spot.
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Olivia_y » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:10 pm

Oh and Enjolras is also the 'Captain' Fantine addresses when she tells him he can wear his shoes.

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23623
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby 23623 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:46 pm

Whoa guys, you're amazing. I'm seriously planning a massive video rewatch looking only at the ensembles. Thank you for the information. I guess from now on I can never watch Les Mis the same way as before.

But really, even though I know what to look for now, spotting one single person in a large group seems impossible to me still. Just now I experimented with some actors I know relatively better and I still couldn't do it. :oops:
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby deHavilland » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:17 pm

23623 wrote:
But really, even though I know what to look for now, spotting one single person in a large group seems impossible to me still. Just now I experimented with some actors I know relatively better and I still couldn't do it. :oops:


Which boot were you watching? Might be you need one with better close-ups, that helps. A really wide boot is difficult to recognize anyone became faces get blown out.
"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 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:31 pm

I've been putting off writing about the understudies for the two leads of the show, because I really love the principals. Actually (despite all my nitpicking) I'm quite happy with most of the current cast, but usually I'd be excited to get a cover since I'd be getting a new interpretation of the character, different dynamics/chemistry etc. But when the cast board is missing Simon Gleeson or Jeremy Secomb, I'd feel terribly disappointed. (Oddly enough, I'd feel less disappointed if both of them were absent, there's just something about the way they work together that I can't quite describe but find incredibly mesmerising.)

So with that said, this is (as always) just my personal (very possibly biased) opinion, etc.

Adam Bayjou (who plays the factory foreman) has been understudying Jean Valjean for quite a while now, and by all accounts he's been wonderful, especially considering his youth. His projection isn't quite as powerful as Simon's, but it's still pretty good (I'd say it was probably on par with Peter Lockyer) and no doubt will get better as time goes on. The only thing that isn't quite convincing is the physical aspect; he's a bit taller than Simon, but has a much slighter built. It's not really that obvious most of the time (since the costumes aren't exactly designed to show off physique), only when he goes to pick up Fantine and you can hear a bit of strain in his singing. Given as how strength is one of JVJ's distinguishing features, it took me out of the show a little bit. And as with all young'uns playing a 60-something year old, the old-age makeup is...odd. :lol: But - assuming he wants it - he's definitely a contender for JVJ when he gets a bit older.

The current first cover for Javert is Adam Pearce, who plays Bamatabois and Brujon. He also covers Thenardier, which I've talked about already (not exactly favourably). And I feel terrible for saying this but I cannot fathom the decision to have him on as Javert. He has a very guttural voice (it's quite distinctive in ensemble tracks) which sounds so wrong for the character. And much like his take on Thenardier he tends to over-act quite a bit. Plus he looks all wrong as well - think of how Javert is described in the book, this is almost the exact oppostie of that. But he did get a pretty good reception at curtain call, so obviously it works for some people.

Thing is though, if Adam Bayjou and Adam Pearce were on for the same show (and according to bootleg cast listings it's definitely happened in the past), there'd be a serious size-imbalance in the wrong direction. Like, I could almost believe Simon could push Pearce on to his back during the 'revenge' scene, and similarly with Bayjou to Jeremy, but trying to picture Bayjou pinning Pearce down just conjures up an image so contrived it borders on being comical. I'm almost curious enough to want to see it.
Last edited by Olivia_y on Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby deHavilland » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:53 pm

Olivia_y wrote:Adam Bayjou (who plays the factory foreman) has been understudying Jean Valjean for quite a while now, and by all accounts he's been wonderful, especially considering his youth. His projection isn't quite as powerful as Simon's, but it's still pretty good (I'd say it was probably on par with Peter Lockyer) and no doubt will get better as time goes on. The only thing that isn't quite convincing is the physical aspect; he's a bit taller than Simon, but has a much slighter built. It's not really that obvious most of the time (since the costumes aren't exactly designed to show off physique), only when he goes to pick up Fantine and you can hear a bit of strain in his singing. Given as how strength is one of JVJ's distinguishing features, it took me out of the show a little bit. And as with all young'uns playing a 60-something year old, the old-age makeup is...odd. :lol: But - assuming he wants it - he's definitely a contender for JVJ when he gets a bit older.


Totally what I thought when I saw Bayjou. He has a great voice, but he still reads as just a little too young for me -- but give him a few years to put that behind him and he'll be totally perfect.
"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 23623 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:54 am

deHavilland wrote:
23623 wrote:
But really, even though I know what to look for now, spotting one single person in a large group seems impossible to me still. Just now I experimented with some actors I know relatively better and I still couldn't do it. :oops:


Which boot were you watching? Might be you need one with better close-ups, that helps. A really wide boot is difficult to recognize anyone became faces get blown out.

I tried Drew and Anton. Happened to be my least favorite Enjys, lol. Just thought they would be the easiest to recognize as I had seen them so often in German musicals before I even knew they'd played Enjolras, but obviously I overestimated myself. :oops:

Btw...
deHavilland wrote:It's a very RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) thing to have principal performers appear on stage in ensemble roles. Only Javert and Valjean don't, and Fantine would have been in more if The LuPone wasn't such a diva.

...what did Patti LuPone do?
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby deHavilland » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:40 pm

Basically, when they were handing out all the extra ensemble roles for everyone, the LuPone said "oh, no, I'm good, thanks."

And they were like "but if you don't do something else, you'll just be sitting in your dressing room from the middle of act one until the act two finale."

And she was like "yeah. Sounds like a plan."

And then they made her be a bullet boy on the barricade and stay there until all the women and children are sent away. But that was it.
"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 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:37 pm

On to the smaller parts:

Thomas Aldridge as Grantaire: very taken up with the E/R thing, gets perhaps a little too familiar with Enjolras (and takes liberties I can't really imagine book!Grantaire taking), like when the ABC cafe scene starts and the set swings around to reveal the interior of the cafe, he's sitting on the table with his hands all over Enjolras, who's trying to keep him at bay. Then again he's quite handsy with the rest of the boys as well, like hugging and teasing Marius during 'Red and Black' (and yes, he does the bottle-penis thing :lol: )

His voice is very distinctive and a bit harsher than the other barricade boys, so it stands out; though thankfully it's nowhere near as rough as the guy on the CSR. Acting notes: during 'Red and Black' he grabs his own hair when singing 'red!' and then picks up a bottle for 'black!'. He grabs Enjolras' hand in 'Final Battle' (while they lean over the body of Marius) and kisses his wrist right before Enjolras goes flying up the barricade.

His interaction with Chris Cowley in 'Drink with Me' has either changed over time, or they just alternate the way they play it. In an earlier performance, Enjolras would hug him (while Grantaire was still holding the bottle around Enjolras' back) and then suddenly reach around to grab the bottle out of his hand. I didn't particularly like that take because, for one thing, it looked like Enjolras was hugging him purely as a ploy to get the bottle off him, and for another, from certain angles (where you can't see that Enjolras was reaching around for the bottle) it looked like he was reaching to grab Grantaire's hand, like he suddenly felt he was being groped. It's kind of awkward and unintentionally funny.

(Nowadays Grantaire just hands the bottle over before they hug, which works much better.)

Andy Conaghan (who usually plays the Bishop) is a cover for Grantaire. I've only seen him once and can't recall him doing anything particularly distinctive, except he pronounces 'Don Juan' as one would in Spanish. His voice is much smoother, which I like better, but it also means it doesn't stand out as much.

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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:48 pm

I'm going to see Les Mis in London in April and I feel like I'm going to know every performer before I've even heard them :D Love these "reviews"!
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby TheRandomPhangirl » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:15 pm

I haven't seen Les Mis since September (I know, what a tragedy. Maybe I'll swing a trip in Easter), and I'm dying to see these guys again; from what I can remember (because I lost my audio, go me) I really quite liked them. I enjoyed Chris Cowley the most out of the new cast, out of the four Enjolrati I've seen he, to me, gives off the most Enjolraic vibe.
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby Acaila » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:13 pm

I reeeeeeeeeeally want to go see it this spring but I am so poor :(

Funnily enough I was just talking today (to our Javert, though that is not funny because he is such a little fanboy I'm half worried he'll end up on Abaisse and know all my secrets!) about how most of the principals double up, and explaining that Fantine doesn't because of LuPone. He couldn't believe anyone wouldn't want to be in as much of Les Mis as possible.
It came up in the context of Valjean, Javert and Fantine being the only ones who get paid as a lead, and how Javert has the least stage time of any of the adult actors. Ended up trying to explain Fat Cop's dressing room livestream.
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Re: London Cast 2017

Postby 23623 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:20 am

Acaila wrote:Funnily enough I was just talking today (to our Javert, though that is not funny because he is such a little fanboy I'm half worried he'll end up on Abaisse and know all my secrets!) about how most of the principals double up, and explaining that Fantine doesn't because of LuPone. He couldn't believe anyone wouldn't want to be in as much of Les Mis as possible.
It came up in the context of Valjean, Javert and Fantine being the only ones who get paid as a lead, and how Javert has the least stage time of any of the adult actors. Ended up trying to explain Fat Cop's dressing room livestream.

You should get him here already! :D That LuPone thing might happen when a performer gets reeeaaaally bored with a show I guess. I've seen this happen in other musicals and it's really super obvious that the actors are so done with everything to the point that they don't even bother to act. Though we fans never seem to be tired of Les Mis, the cast members who do it seven or eight times a week might be. Or maybe she was just not a fan of Les Mis to begin with.

And I've been thinking about Varela too! Had a discussion of Miz-cast Hamilton (because why not! We already have Alexander G-something-I-still-can't-spell as King George and Rachelle Ann Go as Eliza right? :mrgreen: ) with a friend and suddenly remembered that video he did with Éponine. He should do Hamilton someday. I'm waiting for it wait for it wait for it wait for it!! :D
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