West End Cast - 2017/2018

Any discussion related to any production or staging of Boublil and Schönberg's Les Misérables.
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Olivia_y
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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Olivia_y » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:02 pm

TheRandomPhangirl wrote:What are Carly and Karis like as Fantine and Éponine respectively?

I'm afraid I don't have much positive to say about their performances, but that's very much biased by my feelings for the last cast and also the fact they're still very new. One thing I will say though, is that Karis' shortcomings seem like they stem inexperience (so I expect her to get better in time), like she doesn't quite know what to do with her arms in some scenes. But Carly's are more from her acting choices - her Fantine is so bitter and one-dimensional. Of course that's just my own perception and she may develop more depth over time.

In other news, since it's ONE DAY MORE 'til West End LIve: http://olivia-y113.tumblr.com/post/162167526359/

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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Olivia_y » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:26 pm

Footage from West End Live is already available!

https://youtu.be/7Mv0oFIO--o

(Killian sounds SO much better here than he did on Saturday, not sure how I feel about the wig :lol: Still not sold on Carly's Fantine, and surprised they didn't do On My Own.)

Also, for future reference, if you want photos with the actors while they're in costume, head back to the Queen's straight after they finished performing. The trade-off of course is that you'll miss the rest of the performances from that day.

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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:32 pm

Olivia_y wrote:Footage from West End Live is already available!

https://youtu.be/7Mv0oFIO--o

(Killian sounds SO much better here than he did on Saturday, not sure how I feel about the wig :lol: Still not sold on Carly's Fantine, and surprised they didn't do On My Own.)


Yay! Just had a listen and was doing a little happy dance at the same time. I understand and agree about Carly; I wasn't too fond of her IDaD though I thought her acting was pretty good.

I think that in a few weeks after getting some more stamina, Killian is going to be a great Valjean. I've always loved his voice, but thought he was a little weak here, which is probably because of strain.

I can't remember what the girl playing Éponine's name is, but I wasn't massively impressed. I love Éponine's part in ODM so it's something I listen for when judging good Eponines.

I need to mention Hyoie, because he was the one I was most excited to see. He doesn't bring as much intensity as Chris did (which is hard, because that guy was inteeense) but I'm really impressed! I really like his voice and I thought he brought the authority and leadership quality that a great Enjolras requires, at least in the short moments I saw him :lol: I'd really love to see more video of him, to see more of how he acts.

This was superlong for just a 10 minute video :lol:
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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby TheRandomPhangirl » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:53 pm

I thought Carly was alright. I always have low expectations for stunt casted people, and she exceeded them.
Quite liking KillyDonns as JVJ, but I'm still hearing a fair bit of Charlie Price rather than Valjean.
ODM doesn't seem as strong as last year, but I was quite liking Karis and Hyoie.
Side note: some' costuming baffles me a little, as Karis' hat looks absolutely massive, and I'm really *not* likingbthe mint cosette dress. The colour is nice, the style is ice.
(I mentioned my issue with Éponine costuming in Tumblr, and someone is convinced I was slamming the actress' natural hair. You can imagine how this is going down. Help)
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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Olivia_y » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:39 am

Hyoie is such a different Enjolras to Chris. Just physically they're so different - Hyoie has very soft features (rounded cheeks and gentle eyes) while Chris was all sharp edges (oh I miss that glare and those cheekbones), and that plays a big part in their portrayals. I don't think we'd ever get to Chris-level intensity with Hyoie, he just doesn't have the foundation for that. And hey, maybe change is a good thing.

(TBH if someone had shown me pictures of the two of them side-by-side before I'd watched either performance and asked which looked more 'Enjolras' I'd have said Hyoie for sure, he can definitely pull off '22-but-looks-17'.)

In other news, Danny Whitehead did a cover run as Enjolras yesterday: https://twitter.com/DannyWhitehead_/sta ... 1279380482

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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby TheRandomPhangirl » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:18 am

WELL. I have thoughts, most of the very positive.
Most interesting to note was that act II was done in concert form because the barricades had broken during the matinee. That however, didn't tarnish what was a beautifully emotional performance. (I got up after Act II ended and just said to my parents "god, I love this show")

The Good

One thing I noticed was just how much more I was enjoying Paul Wilkins as Marius. He wasn't anywhere near as friendly with Lauren Solely's Éponine as he was with Hollie O'Donoghue's, and for me that worked. He also had more moments that made me go 'yep, that's Marius alright'. I also like his voice more now, it seems far more relaxed and smooth now.
Hyoie O'Grady very pleasantly surprised me. Obviously I knew he had huge boots to fill, and actually he was pretty good, especially since he's been in the role less than a month. Physically he fits the character to a T, especially in some of the more dramatically lit moments in Act II where I think I actually gasped. There were moments here and there where he was truly Enjolraic and it was *awesome*. On the other hand, there was one moment in particular that was so un-Enjolraic it was jarring; in Drink With Me after the standard e/R hug he went straight over and got all cuddly with one of the women at the barricade, which utterly threw me off because Enjolras? With women? Ehhh? Costuming note: they've ditched the patterned waistcoat in ABC Cafe for a plain black one, which I think is much better suited both to his looks and the character. it also makes a much stronger contrast in One Day More when he comes on in The Red Vest. He's very young and looks it, I reckon since he's graduating MATA this year he's likely only about 22-23, yet he was *so* much better than the last recent-graduate enjolras we've had, that being Michael Colbourne back in 2014, who was a definite 'Meh-jolras'.
Cover Fantine Alice Ellen Wright was on yesterday, and considering she'd made her Fantine debut the day before, she was pretty great. Her voice had a very light timbre to it, which is something I enjoy in Fantines, even though it's a mezzo part with the lowest female notes in the show. She reacted to Cosette when she and Marius ran in during the epilogue, which was a really nice detail that showed she had really thought about the character. It's the only time Cosette and Fantine are actually on stage together, and therefore it's Fantine's only opportunity to remind the audience of the love for her daughter that kept her alive for so long in Act I. I felt that Alice handled this well. Not my favourite Fantine ever, but she was certainly a nice one.
Jeremy Secomb as Javert is as much of a beast from when I last saw him back in September last year, and oh how nice it was to have an actual Javert-like Javert instead of whatever the hell Hayden Tee had going on. Him and Killian made a very nice duo, and for the first time in three years the "UST! UST!" chant was back in my head which I see as a very good thing, as for me it shows the JVJ and Javert actors are working off each other well. Because of the reduced staging in Act II, when the time came for the suicide, Jeremy walked straight up to the orchestra pit and it looked like he was about to topple off.
Now, Killian Donnelly as Jean Valjean. It surprises no one that Killian is one of my favourite west end performers period; I've seen him as Raoul in Phantom, Charlie in Kinky Boots and Tony in Billy Elliot and have been desperate to see him in les mis since I was a tiny little 11 year old watching the 25th anniversary concert. Let's just say, I had high expectations and he did not disappoint at all. So much emotional detail absolutely everywhere. I half forgot I was watching Killian-as-Valjean at some points. The man has killer pipes, especially the sustained B natural in Who Am I and the final note of Bring Him Home. BHH itself had me in tears, not being helped by the fact that he knelt and crossed himself (correctly, may I add!) signifying his relationship with God, which made me Catholic backside incredibly emotional. Oh, and his interactions with Little Cosette were so adorable! And with big Cosette too, for that matter. I've seen Valjeans who seem emotionally distant from Cosette before, so it was good to see a duo who genuinely seemed like father and daughter.
The ensemble are BRILL. So much adlibbing, everything seemed so natural and real. Speak all shoutout to Montparnasse/Bahorel who was a little ball of energy, in character for both of them (Especially Bahorel, I thought he was actually going to start tearing up the cobbles on the stage a team one point), and gets the credit for best ad-lib of the night during ABC Cafe, "Marius, grow up, this is more important than girls." Factory girl was especially bitchy, and Master of the House was actually funny. Not because of Steven Meo as thenardier though.
The kids were very, very good. Little Cosette, bless her heart, was so sweet. And she was acting! Yes! There was a bit in Waltz of Treachery where she clung on to Killian for dear life, and you could tell just how terrified she was of her two 'guardians'. Gavroche was awesome, actually singing on key and not being annoying at all. He coped with the act II changes very well too, even if his death fell looked a bit awkward.

The 'Meh'

Lauren Solely as Éponine was alright, I suppose. Got some Éponine vibes from her, but she kept switching from head to chest to mixed rather messily. I like her more than Hollie, but not as much Eva or Melissa. She had a habit of cutting phrases short and rushing over lines, particularly in the beginning of On My Own, which irritated me. Her interactions with Thenardier's gang were the highlight, especially with Montparnasse. I will always appreciate a good Éponine and Montparnasse duo. What got me was that it didn't need really seem like she really cared much for Marius at all, I just wasn't very convinced. She also shouted a few lines which I just find jarring.
Charlotte Kennedy again, hasn't changed much from April. She sings on consonants, had a very uncontrolled and wobbly vibrato and acted for the most part very petulant and childish in In My Life. I used to quite like her, but yesterday I was bored.
Madame Thenardier, whose name I can't remember, showed a lot of promise, especially in scenes with Little Cosette where she was just plain nasty, but eventually she succumbed to going for the laughs. She's separate from Thenardier himself as she was much more tolerable than he was.

The Ugly

This is basically going to be about just how freaking annoying Steven Meo was as Thenardier. You wouldn't know he's supposed to be an evil slimy git at all, he played absolutely every single line for laughs and just...ugh! No! Do you even know your character at all? I wish he could have been bland and forgettable, but nope, he was obnoxious, very crude, did adlibs that weren't funny, and came across as just very, very stupid. Why can't we have a Thenardier who is actually *evil* with some moments of dark humour for once?
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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:34 pm

This review made me happy and sad at the same time :lol: I'm so glad it's another stellar cast (Thenardier aside), but it makes me sooo frustrated that I most likely won't get the chance to see them live.
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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Olivia_y » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:40 pm

I've watched Jeremy play opposite 5 different JVJs (well 4.5 really) and I have to say I've found his chemistry with all of them to be pretty good. Not looking forward to Hayden Tee taking over, I'd be interested to see how Shaq Taylor handles the role though.

Ah, so that's why so many of the cast tweeted about how great the audience was for the matinee, sounds like an intriguing setup.

Personally not a fan of too much ad-libbing, especially if it distracts from the main action.

Ugh. I mentioned when Adam Pearce was on as Thenardier that he tried too hard to be funny, and Steven Meo was even worse! I hate that he does the phoney French accent and I hate that the audience responds positively (i.e. laughs) to it. Any Thenardier that tries to get laughs during 'Dog Eats Dog' just shows they don't get the character at all.

I didn't like Jacqueline Tate (Mme Thenardier) either, maybe she's toned it down a bit but the night I watched it she was also trying to milk everything for laughs. Plus she mocks little Cosette during the line 'please don't send me out alone...' by doing that 'neh neh neh' thing in the same tune but more whiney.

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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Acaila » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:28 pm

I have to say, there's a little bit of me that worries about the barricade breaking down. Just that if stuff needs really replaced and it's going to cost a lot, well it is Cammack.....
It is still selling really well right?
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"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Olivia_y » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:57 pm

Acaila wrote:It is still selling really well right?

The 'House Full' sign was out pretty much every night last week :wink:

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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Acaila » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:05 pm

Thanks, I'm always a worrier :(
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
Abaisse Chief/Chef
"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:03 am

Oh dear... I'd heard some stories last year about how the sets in the West End production of POTO had collected so much dust that new cast members would get dust-related illnesses for their first month or so after joining the company. Wonder if a similar thing is happening with LM. It'd be really troubling if so. :?

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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Olivia_y » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:24 am

Prisoner 24653 wrote:OI'd heard some stories last year about how the sets in the West End production of POTO had collected so much dust that new cast members would get dust-related illnesses for their first month or so after joining the company.

Whoa, that's terrible! You'd think they'd take more caution considering how the lung capacity of the performers are pivotal to keeping the show running! (I think the Les Mis set has less potential to collect as much dust though.)

Going by the WestEndUnderstudies Twitter account, it appears Monday nights are now Adam Bayjou's alternate JVJ show.

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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Olivia_y » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:34 am

Okay second time watching this cast, minus Killian Donnelly (Adam Bayjou was on as JVJ). And Jeremy's last week in the show!

Four weeks in and the first show of the week, they were a lot more fresh and practiced. The old and new ensemble members mesh together much better now, but I still can't warm to Carley or Karis, which was disappointing. The Thenardiers bothered me a lot less this time, and Steven Meo seemed to be putting in some effort to be threatening rather than just milking everything for laughs (still happened more than I'd like, but less than before).

Hyoie had a few glitches - his voice wobbled (twice!) on 'they will come when we call!', and it was also the first time I've witnessed Enjolras not catching the flag during DYHTPS (well he actually caught it, then immediately dropped it). On the other hand he's also abandoned the use of shirt buttons, so I can forgive a few bloopers :lol:

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Re: West End Cast - 2017/2018

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:51 am

Olivia_y wrote:On the other hand he's also abandoned the use of shirt buttons, so I can forgive a few bloopers :lol:


This made me laugh and nod in agreement, but also made me feel like a creeper bacause I'm like 7 years older than him :lol:
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