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The Ongoing Les MisÚrables Discussion Thread


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Poll: Les Mis dress rehearsal (56 member(s) have cast votes)

Which Les Mis song would you most like to sing at a dress rehearsal?

  1. At the End of the Day (2 votes [3.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.57%

  2. Bring Him Home (4 votes [7.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.14%

  3. Do You Hear the People Sing? (7 votes [12.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

  4. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. I Dreamed a Dream (3 votes [5.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.36%

  6. Look Down (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  7. Master of the House (5 votes [8.93%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.93%

  8. On My Own (8 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  9. One Day More (15 votes [26.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.79%

  10. Stars (12 votes [21.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.43%

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#1 tsxmitw

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 09:38 PM

I hope nobody minds my starting this thread - I thought it would be nice to have a thread where we can have an ongoing discussion about Les Mis, rather than odd sporadic threads around cast change.

It is really the perfect night to start a brand new discussion thread - tonight, June 23 2011, Les Mis has 'reopened' at the Queen's Theatre after a 3-day closure in order to "facilitate the installation of a brand new state of the art surround system and the building of a bigger [orchestra] pit to accomodate the slightly larger orchestra necessary to play the new 25th Anniversary Tour orchestrations".

It also opened tonight with a brand new cast:

Caroline  Sheen will play 'Fantine', Alexia Khadime 'Eponine', Craig Mather  'Marius', Katy Secombe 'Madame Thénardier', Liam Tamne 'Enjolras' and Lisa-Anne Wood 'Cosette'. They join the previously announced Alfie Boe  as 'Jean Valjean', Matt Lucas as 'Thénardier' and Hadley Fraser as  'Javert'.  

Would be very interesting to hear some reports regarding the new orchestrations and new cast. Boe, Lucas and Khadime are particularly favourite performers of mine so I'm very pleased with this cast.

Also glad they've changed the orchestrations - always thought them and the acoustics were very dated and did the show a diservice at some points.

#2 SHk

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 11:29 PM

I somehow I failed to notice much about the new orchestration. So no report there. As for the new cast, these are my impressions:

Alfie Boe: Much improved since O2. Solid, good quality singing and sincere acting. Very nice. But why is he steering clear of high notes, such as "fligh-----------t!"? Or is it just JOJ and CW who do that?

Hadely Fraser: Miscast. He is a very very good actor/singer, but still too young, too light-footed.  Not enough weight. Also his clear, lyrical tenor voice is not suited for Javert.

Matt Lucas: Improved since O2, but Martin Ball was funnier.

Craig Mather: Good singing but moderate acting.

Liam Tamne: Surely there must have been a more suitable actor for Enjorlas. So totally underwhelming. Why him?

Caroline Sheen / Lisa-Anne Wood: Wish there were vocally stronger.

Alexia Khadime: NOOOOOOO. Please NO. Totally miscast. Nearly a repeat of the 25th tour Eponine.


The house was full and there were even standing spaces.  The audience gave enthusiatistic cheers both at the beginning and the curtain call. But overall, the new cast didn't impresse me.  I won't be returning too soon unless to see 2 ohter JVJs - Williams and Jacobsen.

#3 Montmartre

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 12:39 AM

Hmm - don't think I'll be in a hurry to see this cast. Oh no, not another soul singer Eponine. (Shame they couldn't keep Samantha Barks)

The Tour cast was almost perfect apart from the Eponine warbler.

#4 Peggyb

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 06:41 AM

View PostSHk, on 23 June 2011 - 11:29 PM, said:

I somehow I failed to notice much about the new orchestration. So no report there. As for the new cast, these are my impressions:

Alfie Boe: Much improved since O2. Solid, good quality singing and sincere acting. Very nice. But why is he steering clear of high notes, such as "fligh-----------t!"? Or is it just JOJ and CW who do that?

Hadely Fraser: Miscast. He is a very very good actor/singer, but still too young, too light-footed.  Not enough weight. Also his clear, lyrical tenor voice is not suited for Javert.

Matt Lucas: Improved since O2, but Martin Ball was funnier.

Craig Mather: Good singing but moderate acting.

Liam Tamne: Surely there must have been a more suitable actor for Enjorlas. So totally underwhelming. Why him?

Caroline Sheen / Lisa-Anne Wood: Wish there were vocally stronger.

Alexia Khadime: NOOOOOOO. Please NO. Totally miscast. Nearly a repeat of the 25th tour Eponine.


The house was full and there were even standing spaces.  The audience gave enthusiatistic cheers both at the beginning and the curtain call. But overall, the new cast didn't impresse me.  I won't be returning too soon unless to see 2 ohter JVJs - Williams and Jacobsen.
Oh dear.All my worries about this cast confirmed.And what happens when Alfie leaves?

#5 tsxmitw

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 03:19 PM

Reviews seem pretty mixed, then.

Really liked the tour Eponine - do not understand all these comments about her being a 'soul' singer (she only riffed one note in the whole thing) and am starting to think it's simply because of her colour. This would explain why people have jumped the gun and presumed that Alexia vocals are too soulful for the show.

#6 Lillypink

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 04:17 PM

Absolutely brilliant for the first two nights. Well done Cameron perfect  new cast mix


Valjean (Alfie)  - no improvement needed there at all sensational voice. Stunning performance.


Fantine (Caroline)- good but could do with more power vocally. Delivered  on second night in the last scene

Eponine  (Alexia) - superb vocally, very powerful throughout. Totally captivating  when singing 'On My Own" (Wow bought tears to my eyes)

Cosette - (Lisa-Anne) - Thought she was very weak vocally and acting wise

Thenardier - (Matt) - What can I say just brilliant the dynamic duo
Mdme    "    - (Katy)

Javert - (Hadley) - Very powerful acting
Enjolras - (Liam) - Very surprising. Better than what I was expecting

On  whole the new cast was amazing.There were only a few that shone more to me more than others. My choice would be Valjean and Eponine, as they both have very strong vocals that captures all the emotions. I'm sure everyone will settle in their characters - Can't will until August  when i'm back again to see how the new cast has improved.

#7 CW23

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 06:33 PM

I was there on the 23rd for the first night. Thought I'd share my thoughts on the new cast.

Alfie Boe was just phenomenal. It's impossible to fault his voice. Full of emotion and completely convincing as Valjean. Bring Him Home got a big response from the audience.

Hadley Fraser's Javert also blew me away. I didn't like him at first, I wasn't convinced, but I think this must have been nerves, or perhaps how youthful he looked to begin with. He got so much better, and I don't know if it was because I was so close to the front (row C), but there was a moment or two when he would look out to the audience and it really chilled me. His version of stars was brilliant and his death... just excellent. I was very impressed. The only thing to note was that he sounded quiet next to Alfie (don't know if this was the mics or just the power and volume of Alfie's voice).

Craig Mather's Marius was good. He has a very good voice. I thought he made a good Marius.

Liam Tamne was the one who completely bypassed me. I hardly noticed him, to be perfectly honest. He didn't seem to have the strong stage presence that I think Enjorlas requires. I think he could get better.

Alexia Khadime as Eponine vocally seemed very strong, especially in all of those big notes.

Lisa-Anne Wood as Cosette was alright. Not much to say about her really.

Caroline Sheen as Fantine was weak, in my opinion. (Edit: I feel I should clarify that I thought she was weak compared to the majority of the cast. Her voice seemed a little quiet. Still, she made a good Fantine.)

Matt Lucas and Katy Secombe were great together. They got all the laughs. They added their own stamp to the characters and the audience (especially Biggins, it seemed) really loved them.

In all I really enjoyed the show and I thought the cast as a whole were excellent. Valjean and Javert were definitely the stand outs for me. The cast can only get stronger and I can only imagine what they'll be like towards the end of their run. Quick note as well about Gavroche. I think I'm right in saying little Daniel Huttlestone was playing the part. I remember him stealing the show in Oliver a few years back. Great kid.

#8 Rain

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 06:47 PM

Really surprised that many people are calling Caroline weak. I thought she'd be brilliant. I'll see when I go next month.

#9 Greeneyes

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 05:56 AM

View PostRain, on 25 June 2011 - 06:47 PM, said:

Really surprised that many people are calling Caroline weak. I thought she'd be brilliant. I'll see when I go next month.


I thought Alfie Boe and Hadley Fraser were both very good.  Marius is the best I've seen for a while too and Enjolras does a decent job.  Cosette is also much stronger now, but Lucie Jones didn't have that powerful a voice. Fantine and Mme Thenardier were just so so, but those roles, particularly Fantine, often are with me. Alexia Khadime makes little sense to me.  She's too old for a boyish Marius and there was no chemistry between them at all, or any connection with her parents either.  It's a shame Samantha Barks wasn't kept on to perform with Alfie again.  Matt Lucas was good if not evil enough for my liking.  Also, I don't think he deserves a round of applause just for appearing, like actors sometimesget out of respect in old age.

#10 Lillypink

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 09:33 AM

Oh I thought Alexia Khadime was the same age as Samantha Barks and Craig Mather. Alexia looks very young. Samantha if anything looks older. Admittedly I only saw Samantha twice (mid way through the last run) in the role and really didn't think much of her performance, she was ok.

Totally agree with what I call 'Pre Applause' but I suppose he is incredible funny




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