For as long as I can remember I have been a fan of theatre but without of a doubt my favourite has to be Les Miserables. I have seen the show performed in my home town, on DVD and in the cinema, with one of my favourite cast members about to leave the show I had a great excuse in which to finally see the show in its West End home.
Taking the train from Norwich to Liverpool street gave me around two hours in which to read Ready Player One, a book that I have enjoyed immensely. I was enjoying it so much that I actually finished it on the way home but enough about that, once I was in London I had a couple of hours to kill so I wandered around the tourist areas and my favourite shops including Hamleys and Forbidden Planet.
Eventually it was time to walk down Shaftesbury avenue towards the Queens theatre and the home of Les miserables in the West End. Les miserables is over 30 years old but it still manages to pull in audiences, in fact it is so popular that the entire house was packed out when I went to see it on friday night.
This is a show that I had wanted to see it for years but what prompted me to see it now was that Carrie Hope Fletcher was about to end her two and a half year run as Eponine and I wanted to see her in the role before she left.
Carrie is an incredible singer and I have seen her perform at a couple of Youtube gatherings in the past as well as on her Youtube channel to which I am a subscriber. On her channel Carrie has talked about Eponine and about performing in Les Miserables on a number of occasions so it was great to finally be able to see her perform in the role.
Seeing as the show is set over many years there is both a young an older Eponine and now Carrie has played both, her performance as the older Eponine was absolutely incredible to watch and I thought that she did brilliantly.
However it wasn’t just Carrie who put in a great performance, the whole cast was amazing and I thought that the child actors in particular did so very well. From the bishop to the Lovely Ladies and everyone it between there were incredible performances,
I knew the songs but they made me feel like I was hearing from the first time. Not only that but I was also looking forward to seeing it in the west end as the last time I saw it was when it came to Norwich a few years ago.
Unlike that show, the one in the west end felt a lot grander and more involved with a ton of detail, the performances in both were amazing but nothing beats seeing the show in its west end theatre. However there is one thing that surprised me about this show and it was that the fact that Thenardier was performed by Phil Daniels, the guy who lent he face and volcals to Blur’s Park Life video.
Thenardier is a bit of rogue who also provides the audience with a bit of a laugh, especially during the rendition of master of the house, I didn’t know Phil Daniels was playing that role when I went to see it so that was a nice surprise.
There is such a range of emotion in this musical with everything from massive laughs to tear jerking farewells and before you ask I did manage to keep it together, well almost. It was very well choreographt and it was an absolute joy to watch,
There were a few times when I had to sit forward a little in order to see past the person in front of me but I was only one seat from the front of the circle so for the most part my view of the stage was revolutionary.
Being able to see the show at the Queens theatre in London’s west end was an amazing experience and I had a wonderful evening of watching people storm the barricades and a man who just wanted to bring Him Home. There was such an incredible atmosphere in the room and when they took their final bows the entire house were on there feet clapping and cheering.
Seeing Carrie perform on stage before she left the role of Eponine was an amazing experience and seeing Phil Daniels as Thenardier was a huge bonus, if you are a fan of theatre or musicals then I would highly recommend watching Les Miserables.