Les Miserables is a musical by Alain Boubill and Jean-Marc Natel, with music by Claude-Michel Shoënburg, and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It follows three intertwining story lines: the rivalry of ex-prisoner, Jean Valjean and officer of the law, Inspector Javier; the people’s rebellion with the boys of the barricade; and a love story between Cosette and Marius.
Jean Valjean was played by Peter Lockyer (South Pacific, The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon). Valjean is on the run from the law throughout the musical, despite rising from slavery to become a respectable factory owner. Lockyer is phenomenal in the role, with his powerful voice conveying deep emotions. He delivers ‘Bring Him Home’ with a soft, tender tone.
Jeremy Secomb (Sweeney Todd, The Phantom of the Opera, Lend Me A Tenor) played Javier, whose strict interpretation of the law clouds his judgement and leads him to believe that people can’t change or be reformed. Secomb is brilliant in the role, delivering a memorable performance of ‘Stars’, the moment when the walls crumble for Javier and he realises the error of his ways.
Rachelle Ann Go (The Little Mermaid, Tarzan, Miss Saigon) featured as Fantine, Cosette’s mother, a very tragic character who gives everything to her daughter so that she can have a chance of a better life. Ann Go sings the iconic ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ with beautiful vocals and great emotion.
At this performance, the role of Cosette was played by Charlotte Kennedy (Curtains, A Chorus Line, Romeo and Juliet), with Zoë Doano (Sweeney Todd, The Grand Tour, High Society) playing the role full time. Kennedy gave a fantastic performance, particularly with ‘A Heart Full of Love’.
Craig Mather (Sweeney Todd, Tonight’s the Night, Spring Awakening) played Marius, who recently joined the cast, replacing Rob Houchen. Mather plays Marius with a confused boyish quality, as the character struggles between standing with his friends on the barricade or following the path of love.
Eva Noblezada (Miss Saigon) starred as Éponine, having recently taken over the role from Carrie Hope Fletcher. Noblezada gives a memorable performance, delivering a spectacular performance of ‘On My Own’. Noblezada will be making her Broadway debut, reprising her role as Kim, in the revival of Miss Saigon in early 2017.
Overall, Les Misérables is a magical show which is both inspirational and heart-breaking. It has been performed in 349 cities, in 44 countries and has been translated into 22 different languages. It is one of the most iconic musicals of all time and it certainly lives up to its name.