Les Miserables Review
Review by Callum Stott.
"This production of Les Miserables certainly soars above the stars!"
How do you define an iconic moment, when Beyonce played Glastonbury? when Still Game opened the Hydro? For everyone in the sold-out Theatre Royal, the most iconic of moments was about to unfold live in front of our very eyes, Les Miserables appearing on the Glasgow stage for the first time in over 37 years. Even though it’s now over 30 years old, Les Misérables is still a powerhouse full of legendary songs, cinematic sets and one man’s journey to redemption.
Based on the works by Victor Hugo then adapted for the stage by Alain Boublil and Claude Michel Schonberg, Les Misérables is the west end’s longest-running musical. People go back time and time again to see this show due to its universal themes of love and hope. Young revolutionaries standing up for what they believe in, as well as Jean Valjean’s quest for forgiveness for his earlier wrongdoings, this show is very much one that takes the audience on a real journey and packs a punch from the opening through to the show’s dramatic climax.
The music of Les Misérables never fails to disappoint with songs including I Dreamed A Dream, On My Own, and Bring Him Home becoming real musical theatre staples. This production adapts the original orchestrations by feeling fresh and reinvented, which still embodies the heart of the music. Also, the set design has been given a fresh, film-like look to make the show feel more authentic and has elements of Victor Hugo’s original novel illustrations highlighted throughout.
The full ensemble is fantastic, and notable highlights include Katie Hall as Fantine. She embodies the role and delivers one of the best renditions of I Dreamed A Dream I’ve ever heard. Also, Will Callan’s take on Marius was fantastic as he brought this real youthful, almost naive personality into Marius which I felt was just spot on and felt true to the character. He also reminded me of Michael Ball’s Marius so many years prior and I would say that this was well cast, especially on Will’s professional debut.
Ultimately, Les Misérables is the show that has it all, huge sets, great acting, brilliant music, and a timeless story. This production of Les Miserables certainly soars above the stars!