Tecklenburg 2018

Any discussion related to any production or staging of Boublil and Schönberg's Les Misérables.
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Auf die Barrikaden
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Tecklenburg 2018

Postby Auf die Barrikaden » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:39 pm

I had the pleasure of attending the final show at Tecklenburg last Saturday. Last seen in Germany five years ago at Magdeburg, Les Mis had a run of 27 shows this summer at the vast castle ruins open air stage, starting on 22 June.

Cast: https://www.freilichtspiele-tecklenburg ... 6-2018.jpg

As usual for Tecklenburg production standards a very strong cast. Two familiar Duisburg faces with Jens Janke and David Jakobs, the Duisburg premiere Gavroche. Patrick Stanke performed a strong Valjean which reminded me alot of Thomas Borchert. Unfortunately Kevin Tarte had been ill for some time and couldn't perform for the closing as well. Luckily a stand-in had been planned for two shows already before the season run and Robert Meyer delivered a great counterpart both vocally and acting-wise, reminding me of Hartwig Rudolz in his early Duisburg time. Daniela Braun continued the tradition of Cosette-Christines and played a very loveable and sweet Cosette. Lasarah Sattler tried to bring out the craziness of Éponine a bit, most obvious in OMO when she delivered the first "I love him" in a sudden shout and rush towards the audience, a full burst of emotion.

Production photos: https://www.freilichtspiele-tecklenburg ... togalerie/

I avoided checking out any photos before my visit in order to not spoil any surprises. Overall it was a solid show. Most striking impression I had was how close it resembled the West End original show-which from a German audience point of view is probably the best thing director Ulrich Wiggers could do. From my fan pov not so much though, I had hoped for a bit more. As the large photo gallery I linked to gives a pretty good impression of the setting and the whole thing here are some of my observations.

During IDAD some of the lovely ladies appeared in the background, a nice bit of foreshadowing. During Lovely ladies time and action froze on stage when Fantine interacts with the hair and trinket lady, action as in obvious poses of ladies and customers. The fight in Confrontation was prevented by one of the hospital nuns, interventing and gesturing towards the dead Fantine, which I very much liked. Gavroche's lines in Look Down were altered for the movie version, first time I heard them in German translation-can't remember it. DYHTPS had the most awkward and weird choreography I've ever seen on a stage-seriously I hope there's video of it on the net for you have to see it to grasp it. During ODM all students and citizens pulled red clothes from their costumes to wave and wrap it around themselves. Neat. Gavroche's Death made much more sense as you could hear him crouching while singing, avoiding being a target so no shots fired while he threw small red bags of ammunition or powder over the barricade-only upon his return he was shot. Only noticable ad-lib was done by David Jakobs Enjolras who shouted "Vive la France" in the Final Battle while waving the flag. Due to longer pauses for scenery changes the music was extended, most noticable the entrance to the sewers. For the suicide Javert walked to the highest point of the stage underneath a cross where he shot himself. No bishop was present for the finale but the chorus was sung by the whole ensemble, including Javert and the Thenardiers. The full expanse and the many entry/exit points of the stage were used extensively which made it difficult sometimes to follow the action. Due to the large stage the interaction between actors was mostly standing some meters apart and singing at each other-which I very much disliked. As it was the final show I expected some extra gags, however I couldn't observe any, not even by the Thenardiers. I think that's ok for a 27 shows-only run. Again I had to say goodbye to Les Mis in Germany. I hope it won't take another five years for its return-and hopefully with some fresh ideas.
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deHavilland
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Re: Tecklenburg 2018

Postby deHavilland » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:45 pm

Interesting! I like the idea of the prostitutes starting to appear towards the end of IDAD and the Nun moment sounds well-played as well. (I feel like I've seen something similar before, but there's a strong possibility that it stems from a movie rather than a stage production.)

Definitely not a fan of "and then Javert shoots himself." It always feels like a cop out.
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