Yesterday, I took the day to go to the theatre, with the tickets to see Les Miserables offered as my leaving present from my job. After spending all day in London, the National Gallery was the main place I visited, to observe works of Da Vinci, Turner, Constable or Velasquez, which I'm never tired of. Truly inspiring!
Later, I made my way to the performance at the West End, Queen's Theatre. when I arrived I faced a completely different theatre from the Fortune's Theatre, Queen's theatre is much chicer and populated than the other. Luckily, no dressing code was asked :).
Les Miserables is a show based on the novel by Vitor Hugo with the same name. The Story evolves Jean Val-jean a convict, who broke his peril and escaped the authorities. Although he was considered a prisoner, a slave, he wanted to become a honest man. 10 years passed, and Jean Val-jean overcame the torments and became a honest man, however ghost from the past never left him, mainly Javert the inspector, who was in charge of the case, and val-jean's torment.
Val-jean, becoming the mayor of a town in France, was also and fair and respectable man, who owned a factory, taking poverty from the streets. After mistakely fired Fantine, a poor worker who had the burden to send money to the evil caretakers of her "bastard" daughter Cosette, the mayor redeems himself by helping Fantine, in her last moments, and to take care of her daughter. Meanwhile, Javert realises the lies and mysteries hidden in this strange mayor, and plans a trial to judge a supposed Jean val-Jean, a false one. Being the real one a fair man denounces himself. Javert satisfied attempts to catch him with no success.
Val-jean, as promised, goes to find Cosette and accept her as a daughter, and they escape to Paris.
Another 10 years have passed and once again Jean Val-jean is torment by his past, when again Javert goes after him discovering his new identity. At the same time, Cosette falls in love with Marius, a revolutionary student. Val-jean as his last duty tries to bring them both together, apart from all the misadventures along the way.
Based on the masterpiece by the great Romantic Victor Hugo, it is difficult to relate the story based on such grandeur. however, the musical running for 25th years, is one of the most acclaimed in London.
In opposition with the "Woman in Black" at the Fortune's Theatre, this musical is dressed with amazing and expensive sets, all mechanical, all fabulous, a beautiful well-crafted design. The acting in my opinion was amazing, Simon Bowman, playing as Jean Val-Jean, and Norm Lewis, as Javert were a great duo, showing the actual tension of the 2 characters. All the other characters, were extraordinary, producing an authentic experience in the show.
Being musical, live music was being played under the stage by a orchestra, I have to admit that the songs were all fabulous, and fitted perfectly, and never became tiring . All these factors adding to light effects and special effect, such as smoke, created one of the most atmospheric mis-en-scenes I have seen. For instance, in the 1st scene, the prisoners, embraced by an atmospheric smoke and light, or when the students' barricade falls and the leader Enjolras, played by Killian Donnelly falls with it,an astonishing mis-en-scene, compared to the Liberty Leading the People,1830 by Eugene Delacroix, beautifully presented. Finally, the show was presented with tragedy, drama, comedy, action, all in perfect proportions to appeal the public
Although, it was a different experience from the previous, I loved everything, and didnt realise that 3 hours went so fast. I have to say the only let down was the 5.50£, I played for a glass of red wine, but it was worth it. :)
I advise everybody to go to the theatre, especially to shows like this one or the Woman in Black.
Finally, many adaptions have been made to the big screen, the one I have watched recently was the 1998, with Liam Nesson and Geoffrey Rush. If you feel like watching, I warn you is different from the musical.