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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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#891 Titan

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 08:42 PM

View Postcraftymiss, on 14 July 2013 - 07:57 PM, said:

Why employ people that haven't had training is it a case of not what you know but who you know? It devalues the profession & stops trained performers getting their break imho

im not saying this is what happened in this case, however what you say has been going on since. tha dawn of time

#892 Cactus

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 09:47 PM

View Postcraftymiss, on 14 July 2013 - 07:57 PM, said:

Why employ people that haven't had training is it a case of not what you know but who you know? It devalues the profession & stops trained performers getting their break imho
Yeah, it has been going on for ages. And to be fair, sometimes normal performers manage to get into the business without training (singing and/or acting lessons) and they actually get their big breaks thanks to shows like Les Mis. But in other cases it's simply just about names or about who you know.

#893 djp

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 12:07 AM

View Postcraftymiss, on 14 July 2013 - 07:57 PM, said:

Why employ people that haven't had training is it a case of not what you know but who you know? It devalues the profession & stops trained performers getting their break imho

Assumes that training gets you around the problem of people selecting who they know in any profession, or doesn't mean you still get left as a singer because the pop singer who can't act,  or tone deaf Corrie actor, gets  the job.

Its perfectly possible to spot excellent people whether they have had training or not.. It also seems to be true that some people learn  really well on the job from keeping on working with good actors and directors. Its also true that some of the more brilliant recent bits of casting have been people spotted doing something else by people who have made a brilliant leap of imagination. If i drew up a list of who I really follow, I think its got everything on it from people with Firsts from the best drama and music  schools,  to people spotted before they could vote,  and put in a  major role.

#894 djp

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 12:22 AM

View Postmystifyre, on 11 July 2013 - 08:38 PM, said:

Hmm..I suppose her wooden performance that you describe may be down to the fact she has had no professional training in the acting field. As for her voice, there is no doubt that she can sing but again perhaps her vocal range requires some training to improve.

Eponine's a difficult character tthough. you just have to read the youtube comments of people who think someone doesn't sound like the US pop princess variant, or who think Lea  sounds credible as a Thenardier, or who think Frances doesn't sound right for the role she created. Quirky Eponine's will upset some people, reserved ones who belt it well and stay in that character please others, some people want perfect notes, some people note that they are listening to someone in despair and expect the singing to reflect that, Some director actually thought it was a good idea to make her unlikeable in one recent incarnation. Some people like the whole show better wnen Eponine is developed to show her positive potential before meeting her destiny - others want her to hang around in the background looking sad-  because they think the story is about Valjean. Carrie sounds on youtubes as if she's going to be a  bit different to Danielle and Sam which might be more interesting  than a third run at a similar portrayal?

#895 Sam4God

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 03:16 AM

I haven't seen Carrie in the show yet and I'm definitely not a 'die hard' fan of hers. I knew of her before she got the part as I enjoy watching her YouTube videos sometimes, and of course I also knew she was Tom from McFly's sister. I was also aware that she'd been in a few West End shows growing up, could sing well, and has been working (both professionally and unprofessionally) as a performer/singer in recent years.
When she got cast as 'Eponine', I thought it was a pretty good choice but like many others, I had my reservations. I've never had a 'favourite' Eponine - all the Eponines I've seen have annoyed me at times (maybe I just don't like the character?), but if I had to choose, I'd have said that Danielle's portrayal was the most likeable for me. When I saw Carrie's performance at West End Live, I immediately felt sympathy for her character and believed every word she sang. For the first time, I saw an 'Eponine' that I could connect with and found likeable. Considering these opinions came to me after seeing her sing just one song, completely out of context at a live event, I think it shows how suited she really is for 'Eponine'.
Of course, she's not gonna be to everyone's taste as we each have different things we look for in Eponine's characterisation, but she managed to convince me with just one song. I can't say she's my favourite Eponine yet, as I haven't seen her in the show but based on that one song, I thought she was fantastic in the role.
I understand the argument that people have been using for ages - "Why cast untrained people, it's not fair on trained actors etc" and I agree with it to an extent. But if an untrained person goes into the room and delivers a perfect audition and shows they are capable of doing a role justice, then I see no reason why they shouldn't be chosen to play the part simply because "they have not gone to drama school". Yes, 'stunt casting' can be a disaster in many cases, but Carrie isn't even a 'famous person', not really. She got the job because she was good and one of the best people to have auditioned for it. Who cares that she doesn't have a professional training? If she can still deliver a great performance, sing well and give audiences a memorable night, she's done her job and she deserves it.
Fair enough if you don't like her portrayal, but to criticise her for her lack of training is ridiculous in my opinion! "Trained" doesn't automatically mean "better".
WEST END: Wicked X80 | Billy Elliot X91 | Singin' In The Rain X25 | Avenue Q X16 | Legally Blonde X27 | Matilda X5 | The Lion King X5 | Sound of Music X1 | Les Miserables X5 | Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat X2 | We Will Rock You X4 | The 39 Steps X15 | Oliver X3 | Chicago X2 | Mamma Mia! X7 |  Hair X3 | Ghost Stories X1 | Jersey Boys X7 | Enron X1 | Blood Brothers X3 | All The Fun of the Fair X1 | Phantom of the Opera X5 | Flashdance X3 | Stomp X1 | Grease The Musical X3 | Sweet Charity X2 | The Woman In Black X2 | Priscilla X2 | Dreamboats and Petticoats X1 | The Glass Menagerie X1 | Love Never Dies X2 | Wizard of Oz X3 | Deathtrap X1 | Sister Act X5 | Love Story X2 | Ordinary Days X1 | End of the Rainbow X1 | Umbrellas of Cherbourg X3 | Flare Path X1 | Spelling Bee X1 | Shrek X7 | Thrill Me X1 | Lend Me A Tenor X2 | Ghost X3 | Betty Blue Eyes X1 | Rock of Ages X3 | Master Class X1 | One Man, Two Guv'nors X2 | Pitmen Painters X1 | Soho Cinders X2 | Spamalot x3 | Sweeney Todd X1 | Volcano X1 | Loserville X6 | Good Night Mr. Tom X1 | Scrooge X1 | Once X2 | A Chorus Line X5 | Curious Incident X2 | Beautiful Thing X1 | Merrily We Roll Along X1 | A Midsummer Night's Dream X2 | Book of Mormon X2 | From Here To Eternity X1 | Stephen Ward X1 | The Commitments X1 | I Can't Sing X2 | Dirty Rotten Scoundrels X1 | The Duck House X1

FRINGE: Smokey Joe's Cafe X1 | Tomorrow Morning X3 | Company X1 | The Kissing Dance X2 | Road Show X1 | Crazy For You X1 | The Belle's Stratagem X3 | Pippin X1 | Kissing Sid James X1 | Mack & Mabel X1 | Taboo X1 | Victor/Victoria X1 | Bully Boy X1 | Daddy Long Legs X1 | Merrily We Roll Along X1 | Lift X4 | Payback the Musical X1 | Candide X1 | The A to Z of Mrs P X1

BROADWAY: Wicked X1 | Newsies X1 | Annie X1

ON TOUR: Les Miserables (Barbican) X1 | Evita (Wimbledon) X1 | Annie (Woking) X1 | Hairspray (Woking) X1 | Avenue Q (Bromley) X2 | Avenue Q (Richmond) X2 | Avenue Q (Woking) X2 | Avenue Q (High Wycombe) X2 | Avenue Q (Southampton) X1 | Avenue Q (Milton Keynes) X1 | Avenue Q (Salford) X1 | Avenue Q (Cardiff) X1 | Avenue Q (Belfast) X1 | Avenue Q (Northampton) X2 | Jekyll & Hyde (Woking) X1 | Legally Blonde (Bristol) X2 | Legally Blonde (York) X1 | Legally Blonde (Glasgow) X1 | Legally Blonde (Edinburgh) X1 | Sister Act (Oxford) X1 | Legally Blonde (Wimbledon) X1 | Rent 20th Anniversary Concert X5 | West Side Story X1 | Wicked X10 | Seven Brides for Seven Brothers X1 | Fiddler on the Roof X1 | Fame X1 | Tonight's The Night X1

CHICHESTER: She Loves Me X3

OPEN AIR THEATRE: Crazy For You X1, Sound of Music X1

NATIONAL THEATRE: Welcome To Thebes X1 | London Road X1 | Curious Incident X1 | The Light Princess X1

OTHER: Vampirette (Manchester) X2, Loserville (Leeds) X1

#896 poster J

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:30 AM

View Postcraftymiss, on 14 July 2013 - 07:57 PM, said:

Why employ people that haven't had training is it a case of not what you know but who you know? It devalues the profession & stops trained performers getting their break imho
I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous.  Not everyone who's good has had training - not everyone can afford it (I know that doesn't apply in this case, but the principle's the same and you made a complete sweeping statement).

And equally not everyone who's had training is good (sometimes it's who you know that gets you into a school too...).

People can get their big break in lots of different ways, but it doesn't make them any less deserving of it.  I think you should be judging on talent, not the name of the school on someone's CV!

Some of the best people in the arts have never been trained - Katharine Hepburn only did am-dram in college, current Best Actress Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence has never had any training... and the same undoubtedly goes for plenty of theatre talent too.

Personally I'd rather see a talented person who's right for a particular role - I don't give a damn where they did or didn't train!  Trained performers are no more entitled than anyone else.

#897 Cactus

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 09:20 AM

Yeah. I think training is more important with regards to singing rather than acting. Of course people can have a great voice without singing lessons and be up to a good standard but breathing technique, the right support, diction etc. don't come naturally.

#898 craftymiss

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 12:44 PM

I do realise that there are some performers that are more than capable without much training and those with it are not capable, but my point was is IMHO (and obviously it is only my opinion) her acting and lower singing range are not good enough for the role, hence perhaps had she had training then it could have been better. I was unaware until it was pointed out to me that she had not had training.  I think what reinforced my opinion of her weak performance were some of the comments I have seen on social networking sites intimating she got the role because of who her brother is and the fact she is a friend of Ramin. It was this that just made me think that nepotism may have played a part rather than professional training. I'm obviously not saying it has as I do not know.

Sorry that my point was ridiculous. Note to self: keep ridiculous comments to myself :-(

#899 djp

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 04:14 PM

View PostCactus, on 15 July 2013 - 09:20 AM, said:

Yeah. I think training is more important with regards to singing rather than acting. Of course people can have a great voice without singing lessons and be up to a good standard but breathing technique, the right support, diction etc. don't come naturally.

Singing is  a matter of perspectives too  sometimes. I sometimes read someone sings beautifully, listen myself and think note perfect but bland and unconnected to the story. Sometimes you have  older singers singing younger roles  perfectly -  but who don't actually sound like their young characters. There's some great renditions  of On My Own that just couldn't be sung by Eponine.  Elsewhere you find people putting in soaring riffs and getting praise, and  I think what on earth has that to do with the lyrics or story. Someone else gets criticised for being breathy,  but I note they are dancing, or being chased by a madman, feeling angry,  or being  shot at, at the time.  ....  I think I would rather have the odd note go astray,  from someone who can act the lyrics convincingly,  than someone who sounds perfect but might as well be in any other show.

#900 poster J

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 04:52 PM

View Postcraftymiss, on 15 July 2013 - 12:44 PM, said:

Sorry that my point was ridiculous. Note to self: keep ridiculous comments to myself :-(
I meant that only in the sense that you made a sweeping generalisation about always wanting trained people hired over untrained!




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