LES MISÉRABLES REVIEW, TRIVIA & CAST INTERVIEWS

Les Miserables (Singapore) Review & Cast Interviews


Here's my next installment following my Les Mis post part one here*~ my review, a little bit of trivia and of course, the production & cast interviews  



Prisoner 24601 reporting for parole Sir! Jean Valjean, the convict imprisoned for a case of theft of a loaf of bread to feed a starving nephew now funnels his remarkable life story to Singapore audiences at the Esplanade Theater.  After 20 long years of wait, Les Misérables is finally back at the barricades of Singapore. The sweeping masterpiece by French poet, novelist and visual artist, Victor Hugo made its musical stage debut during the year of 1985 and Cameron Mackintosh together with its producers/directors weren’t holing any strings of clues that this musical will make it big – more so become one of the most popular musical of all time.


Based on the Victor Hugo classic novel, this 19th-century tale set in France is about the “survival of the human spirit” and features songs such as “Do You Hear the People Sing?”,  “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Master of the House”, “On My Own”, “Stars” and “One Day More”. Les Misérables enthusiasts will find the production as seductive as ever with its opening act of “Look Down”, delivering astounding theatrical and cinematic illusions; Les Misérables has Cameron Mackintosh at its heart.

Broken dreams, unrequited love, sacrifice and redemption – combine all these and that’s where the leap of faith chandelled. Javert’s hot pursuit and obsession with Jean Valjean remains constant and dark; fact is, it’s the darkness that gives Les Misérables its indispensable depth. Producers describe this new production as more contemporary, filled with modern technology and possess a more cinematic appeal.

Les Misérables has been translated into 44 countries, 348 cities and in 22 different languages; over 70 million people have watched it. Each performance entails some 392 complete costumes, 1782 items of clothing and 31 wigs. A piece of hair wig even costs a thousand dollars!


How can one forget a crowd favorite? The love triangle of Eponine, Cosette and Marius. Aaah, this trio - such teasers of love and rejection. 

See how you can manage to feel Marius' grief during the "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables"; Javert's jaw-dropping suicide scene; the Thenardier's effortless attempt to yield the comedic brio in this sweeping, poignant production; go ahead, watch, tap thy feet (you have Master of the House to blame!), sing along or cry a river - it will surely take a miracle for another musical production to be of such great equal.


It's been 30 years since Les Mis graced the theatrical stage in Paris yet it definitely knows how to sprawl its way up to every people, regardless of age, sex and city of origin.  





Highlights include the way they laid Act 1 to end with “One Day More”, the passion to fight for what is right soars on stage.The production  comes into its own in Act 2,  the war unfolds is at its fiery best.



Simon Gleeson as Jean Valjean is a robust yet sublime testament to the timeless strength of human spirit. Earl Carpenter‘s portrayal of Javert on the other hand focused on his own version of a forever blinded justice. His mental torment just radiates on stage, both have powerful voices that every part of the musical becomes picturesque.


With most people not taking the time to read books anymore, this is apt to relive this classic tale. You don’t need to read the book to fall in love with its gripping story and production. Expect new orchestrations, sound design, Victor Hugo’s paintings – all seemed to cajoled to give the audience that Les Misérables authentic feels.






Here’s my interview with the Les Misérables cast members and the production team.


NICK ALLOTT – Managing Director of Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. Named as one of London’s 1000 most influential people of in 2011 & 2012 by the Evening Standard.





TELL US SOMETHING NEW WITH LES MIS?
This new production of Les Misérables embraced a more contemporary feel to it. More cinematic, we have injected modern technology but the material stays fresh.
WHAT IS THE CAMERON MACKINTOSH MAGIC THAT WORKS FOR LES MIS?


It’s Cameron’s attention to detail. He wants to make the audience believe that it’s always their first time seeing it.






ALAIN BOUBLIL – lyricist & best known for his collaborations with the composer Claude-Michel Schönberg for musicals on Broadway and London’s West End. These include: La Révolution Française (1973), Les Misérables (1980), Miss Saigon (1989)

HOW WILL YOU DESCRIBE LES MISERABLES IN THIS MODERN ERA? 
Since the book is less read nowadays, we aim to spread the message of Les Misérables all over the world. The vitality of human relationships, the battles to win, people will know that this is still relevant from the day it was written.






MICHAEL CASSEL  Executive Producer




what's the biggest challenge in doing les mis?


The logistics. But when we see how the audience react and express their love for the show, we’re truly thankful.
















JAMES POWELL – Director


how does les mis maintain that "fresh" attack after all these years? 
We do not compromise. The piece has to remain current and when the actor brings in a new take or idea, that’s how it becomes FRESH AGAIN.
describe les mis in two words?
Thrilling and terrifying.
most challenging scene? 
The first scene! Always expect the unexpected.
best part/scene of les mis?
Javert’s suicide. There are 4 factors to bring this scene to perfection:Lighting. Marriott of the Music. The Actor. Lastly, the projection.




simon gleeson Jean Valjean


that beard. to shave or not to shave?
I was shopping for sunglasses with my daughter, and every single piece I tried on she will say the same thing: "You look like a criminal."
















EARL CARPENTER – Javert 

 what makes les mis a classic piece? The way the music captures the emotion of every character.

do you ever get tired of playing javert?
I do. Just like going to your regular job every single day. I give it a fresher attack by studying the audience, their reactions and whatnot.

















PATRICE TIPOKI –  Fantine


DO YOU DO ANYTHING SPECIAL BEFORE YOU PERFORM ON STAGE?

We all huddle before the show, just to say hi, make eye contact. It’s a good booster for everyone.


















so how does marius feel being torn between a beautiful blonde and a brunette?

marius: UhmLucky ! (*eyes twinkling)




favorite lines from the musical and why?
Kerrie Ann Greenland (Eponine). Emily Langridge (Cosette). Paul Wilkins (Marius).  




Eponine & cosette: Do you hear the people sing, the people song! That wall cry is so passionate it keeps us all pumped up!
MARIUS: "they were schoolboys, never held a gun" - lyrics from  turning. 








CHRIS DURLING– Enjolras
what's your take on portraying the role of enjolras?
Oh, it’s definitely the perfect role for me in my early 30’s. I will do my best to keep my vest after my very last performance, it’s my favorite!
what do you do on your spare time?
I do yoga, watch movie. You know, the normal 'me' time. 

The Voice Kids Finalist Esang de Torres is also playing little Cosette in the show as well as Filipino/Australian talent, Chloe De los Santos. I’ve witnessed Esang on stage and she did a great job. She even auditoned for Annie, got the part of Molly but due to schedule conflict with Les Mis, she won’t be able to take the part.


It will be hard to condemn an adaptation of a novel with an epic proportion, Cameron Mackintosh, Powell and team did execute an incredible production. Les Misérables is profoundly moving, with a stellar cast performance to boot. A tight, thrilling and breathtaking musical that stands out once again as an epic musical production at its finest.
Modern technology may have been imbibed to this production but it didn’t change a thing with the performance. Les Misérables raked in a standing ovation and will definitely run for more decades, with that I’m sure.

Full Interview Links Below:


Full Media Call Performances Links Below:

JEAN VALJEAN - BRING HIM HOME
LES MIS ENSEMBLE - ONE DAY MORE

Les Mis VLOGS on my channel:

part I
part ii





Les Misérables – Singapore
Performance Dates
Tue, 31 May – Sun, 24 Jul 2016
Tue – Fri: 8pm
Sat: 2pm & 8pm
Sun: 1:30pm & 7pm
Venue
Esplanade Theatre
Ticket Prices: from $58- $228
How to book:
Internet:  SISTIC


THANKS FOR LOOKING 





DISCLOSURE: Author was invited to the press/media call/media screening night. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are her own and remain 100% uninfluencedAll images are the property of wickeRmoss unless stated otherwise. Use of these images without any consent is prohibited. 


Les Miserables (Singapore) Review & Cast Interviews


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