So recently, I got to go see Les Misérables at the Hippodrome, Birmingham. As a theatre lover, I’ve done a few posts about different shows I’ve seen, such as Wicked or The Wizard of Oz, and I’ve always said if I had more disposable income, going to the theatre would go to the top of my list of past times!
Thankfully for this show, I didn’t need disposable income as my sister was invited to a wedding and therefore couldn’t go to the show, so she gifted me my ticket as an “extra birthday present” (love you Vanessa!). Les Misérables is one of the most critically acclaimed musicals of all time and I had never had the opportunity to see it until now. As a fan of the musical anyway from watching the Hollywood movie version as well as the theatre anniversary DVD, it’s safe to say I know practically every word to every song. Not only was I excited to see the musical, but I got to see it at the Hippodrome which is my favourite theatre in Birmingham as I’ve seen lots of amazing productions there.
There were so many great things about this show. The set design was amazing for one, the way they created the barricade was amazing and really effective. The songs, already euphoric, are a lot more powerful on the stage. My favourite song in the show is when Inspector Javert sings Stars, which is such a beautiful song. The storyline is poetic as it follows Victor Hugo’s story of a man breaking his parole after serving 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s sick son.
Personally for me in this production there were two stand-out characters (not counting the two lead males Javert and Jean Valjean). These were Enjolras and Fantine, both strong characters, and I thought these two actors were captivating in these roles. Fantine’s story is one of suffering and pain and the portrayal of this was emotional and heart wrenching as she is just trying to provide for her child. Enjolras’ story is of honour and wanting a better world after the revolution but ultimately losing his life for this cause. This production also used child actors and I thought the child that played Gavroche was sensational, as the death of this character is one of the most painful moments in the musical and it was done so well.
After seeing this production I’d say it’s 100% in my top 3 of the best things I’ve ever seen on stage (Lion King is still at number one! And I still have to see at least Hamilton and Phantom of the Opera to make an informed decision). I think Les Mis is coming back to Birmingham next year possibly so there could be an opportunity to see it then, but I’d recommend this show as one of the fundamentals for any musical lover.