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Eppie-Sue

London Cast: 2010/2011

Looks like we need a new topic. This is for everything that will take place from June 21st on.

Updated, full cast list as of 4 June.

Jean Valjean - Simon Bowman (staying)
Javert - Norm Lewis (joining) (starting after the first three weeks)
Fantine - Rebecca Seale (staying)
Thénardier - Martin Ball (staying)
Mme Thénardier - Lorraine Bruce (staying)
Enjolras - Killian Donnelly (staying/promoted)
Marius - Alistair Brammer (staying) (until 29th January 2011)
Eponine - Samantha Barks (joining)
Cosette - Lucie Jones (joining)

Bishop of Digne - Gavin James (staying)
Factory Foreman - Jeff Nicholson (staying)
Factory Girl - Chloe Hart (joining)

Bamatabois - George Miller (staying)

Montparnasse - James Smoker (joining)
Babet - Simon Shorten (staying)
Brujon - Jeff Nicholson (staying)
Claquesous - George Miller (staying)

Grantaire - Martin Neely (staying)
Feuilly - Scott Garnham (joining)
Combeferre - Gavin James (staying)
Courfeyrac - Jonathan Williams (staying/changing tracks)
Joly - Dylan Williams (staying)
Lesgles - Jamie Bryce (joining)
Prouvaire - Matthew Seadon Young (joining)

Madame - Lucy Garrioch (joining)
Crone 1/Old Woman - Rachel Bingham (staying)
Whore - Natalie Day (staying)
Urchin/Crone 2 - Chloe Brooks (staying)
Urchin/Whore 1 - A J Callaghan (staying)
Urchin/Whore 2 - Helen Owen (staying)
Urchin/Whore 3 - Francesca Leyland (joining)

Male Swing (Dance Captain) - Mark Hedges (staying/promoted)
Male Swing - Spike Grimsey (joining)
Male Swing - Chris Theo Cook (joining)
Female Swing (Ass. Dance Captain) - Emma Westhead (staying/promoted)
Female Swing - Daisy Maywood (joining)

As for understudies, so far we know:

Valjean:
first u/s Jonathan Williams
second u/s Simon Shorten

Javert:
first u/s Jeff Nicholson
second u/s Jamie Bryce

Fantine:
first u/s Natalie Day
second u/s A J Callaghan

Marius:
first u/s Matthew Seadon Young
second u/s Scott Garnham

Enjolras:
first u/s Martin Neely
second u/s Scott Garnham

Eponine
first u/s Helen Owen
second u/s Daisy Maywood

Cosette
first u/s A J Callaghan
second u/s Helen Owen

Thénardier
first u/s Spike Grimsey
second u/s Mark Hedges

Mme Thénardier
first u/s Rachel Bingham
second u/s Chloe Hart


"Special guests":

Due to the 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 Arena, a few celebrities will be joining the cast for a few weeks on various dates before October.

These celebrities include
Nick Jonas (Marius) from 21st June-12th July
and, very likely, although we don't have confirmation yet:
Camilla Kerslake (Cosette)

So, everything about that can go into its own thread now, and the other one can be about the current, leaving cast that way...
riverdawn

Thank you for opening this thread. I think it will be better this way, both for having discussions about the current cast in that thread, and for making it easier for people to find discussions of the new cast. Smile
The Very Angry Woman

I still don't see how there are more disadvantages to advantages of having Nick Jonas step in as Marius for a while.
Eppie-Sue

I'm sure they have all been named in the other thread in lengthy, lengthy posts, and more importantly, it's not so much about what it will be like when he is cast, but the fact that they're casting people for a small amount of weeks and that the show is more or less being promoted with names, which goes against anything the show has been about at least in London.
This is a cast change where we get a new Enjolras, a new Cosette and a new Eponine, and they all interact very closely with Marius. Now, it appears to be the case that Cosette will be played by a different performer as well for the first three weeks.
That means, there will be people in two principal roles, who haven't had as much preperation and time to work together with the rest as the others. They won't be comfortable immediately, they won't have the time to focus on their roles, the others will have to bear that in mind and not focus on their own performances but make sure everything is going smoothly. The actual principal performers are being pushed aside and left to perform the ensemble parts of those tracks sat the beginning of the show, from what I've gathered. All that doesn't sound like "being part of the company" to me. Everything is arranged around people that have been stunt cast, and after a few weeks, everything is set up anew and someone else has to watch from the sidelines while some other "big name" performs in their role.
I've seen lots and lots of understudies last year who had their first couple of perfomances, all trained stage actors who had had a lot of time to watch the principals and to get used to "being in Les Mis" and working with the rest, and none of them were immediately secure. And if you watch a cast shortly after cast change, the same will be noticeable for you. Their performances might be good, but they lack the stability and security that they have after a while. By casting people for a few weeks only, this stability will be very hard to develop, and a whole cast and company has to adapt to them.
SHARDIE

will nick be playing in the matinee?
flying_pigs

SHARDIE wrote:
will nick be playing in the matinee?


Which matinee? Or all of them?
He should be doing all shows I assume, allowing for sickness of course.
Eppie-Sue

SHARDIE wrote:
will nick be playing in the matinee?

As every principal at Les Mis is expected to perform all eight shows a week (Mon-Sat, Wed and Sat twice), I would suppose he will do the same. Anything else wouldn't be very commendable. Alistair hasn't said anything about "I will be doing the matinees", only that he won't be playing "Marius" between the 21st June and the 12th July.

I wish they would say something about Javert. Maybe we'll hear some news tomorrow. And I want to know who the 1st cover Enjolras is. James Smoker? Chris Theo Cook?
SHARDIE

23rd matinee.
flying_pigs

SHARDIE wrote:
23rd matinee.


Yes, he should be.
SHARDIE

okay thanks because of lot of people said he might not.
flying_pigs

SHARDIE wrote:
okay thanks because of lot of people said he might not.


Ooooo ok, don't quote me on it then! I'm just assuming!
SHARDIE

haha its okay they are just guessing too cause they said sometimes matinees use understudies.
riverdawn

Yeah, it's really annoying that there's no information on Javert yet. It's only one of the most important roles in the show....
Eppie-Sue

ETA: Solely about the Nick Jonas stuff. Once again, as my post seems to have been ignored: We're all always assuming, considering we can only go by experience. At some shows, the principals don't perform all eight shows in a week, so therefore some people might have said that he might not be going the matinees. But considering that at Les Mis, everyone does all eights shows (unless contracted and announced otherwise, like David Shannon between June and October 2009), he is supposed to get some experience in those three weeks (and cutting the matinees would mean six shows less) and Marius really isn't the most exhausting role in musical theatre (vocally, physically and emotionally) - and he might not even be doing all the stuff the regular actor for Marius has to do in the ensemble - it would be quite the negative surprise if he (or anyone else of the celebrity performers) sat out the matinees. They're shows just like any other show.


Back to the actual cast - yes. Fair enough, it's not a role that requires a huge preparation with the ensemble or many other principals, and let's be honest, the actor of Javert only is on stage for about half an hour altogether in a 2.5 hour musical, but still. I wonder what can possibly take them so long...
SHARDIE

I phoned the theatre and they said Nick Jonas is doing both.
MSam

Well for what it's worth, I assume Nick Jonas would be training for the role several weeks in advance, and there will be some sort of integration/transition period before he takes over the role. He should have some kind of idea what's going on before he gets onstage in terms of how he should interact with other characters.

Disappointed Nancy Sullivan isn't joining the cast again! When I saw the show in April for the first time my Mum and I both commented on how impressed we were with her voice (haven't seen/heard the show previously) and I was really impressed with her acting as well. Same goes for David Thaxton, but I'm interested in the new cast choices.
Eponines_Hat

Re: London Cast: 2010/2011

Eppie-Sue wrote:
Looks like we need a new topic. This is for everything that will take place from June 21st on.

The cast list we know about so far is:

Jean Valjean - Simon Bowman (staying)


Seriously, WHY!????
kalms

Martin Neely is 1st u/s Enjolras
kalms

Martin Neely is 1st u/s Enjolras
KatyRoseLand

kalms wrote:
Martin Neely is 1st u/s Enjolras


I cannot even say how happy I am for him! He has an amazing voice and I know he really wanted to play the role. I'm sure he'll be fantastic.
Elbow

Hmm, I can't say I'm overjoyed at that prospect, but hey, he might surprise me.
PureDiamondLight

kalms wrote:
Martin Neely is 1st u/s Enjolras


hmm... a Grantaire playing Enjolras... I think that could be really good, as regards the connection between the characters.
lovesinging

Definitely intrigued. I'd love to see/hear that!
The Very Angry Woman

PureDiamondLight wrote:
kalms wrote:
Martin Neely is 1st u/s Enjolras


hmm... a Grantaire playing Enjolras... I think that could be really good, as regards the connection between the characters.


Apparently it worked for Christopher Mark Peterson.
Orestes Fasting

The Very Angry Woman wrote:
PureDiamondLight wrote:
kalms wrote:
Martin Neely is 1st u/s Enjolras


hmm... a Grantaire playing Enjolras... I think that could be really good, as regards the connection between the characters.


Apparently it worked for Christopher Mark Peterson.


Not so well for Drew Sarich though.
music is my life!!!

Sam Barks' Eponine should be interesting. Personally, i'm not too sure whether she's edgy enough, but she has the voice.

We'll see Smile
xDaisyPetalx

I'm really looking forward to seeing the new cast. I booked tickets for August and am row C in the stalls so I'm pretty excited.

I've seen Lucie perform live before and she has a strong chest voice and I'm really looking forward to seeing how well she can hit those high notes- she's a sweet person as well and I know she really worked hard for the role.

About Nick Jonas, I'm just a bit wary of the casting but I'm sure the producers know that they're doing.
Eppie-Sue

So, according to Scott Garnham, this cast's Javert is Norm Lewis, who will come in after three weeks. Heh, I totally called this a while ago, even if I didn't post it on here, when Antony told us it's probably someone who's played the part before. That's nice. He should be good.
Muscialperformer92

Eppie-Sue wrote:
So, according to Scott Garnham, this cast's Javert is Norm Lewis, who will come in after three weeks. Heh, I totally called this a while ago, even if I didn't post it on here, when Antony told us it's probably someone who's played the part before. That's nice. He should be good.


It seems abit like everyone of the O2 cast is going to be at Queen's at some point this year.. will that also mean that Lea Salonga will play Fantine at some point in London?? I would totally die of joy if that happened!
Eppie-Sue

Muscialperformer92 wrote:
It seems abit like everyone of the O2 cast is going to be at Queen's at some point this year.. will that also mean that Lea Salonga will play Fantine at some point in London?? I would totally die of joy if that happened!

I know that Matt Lucas will definitely not be at the Queen's at any point. I also don't think Lea Salonga will. The Norm Lewis thing can't be compared with Nick Jonas/Camilla Kerslake, as he will not be doing a short stint but play the show for the entire season, apparently (starting three weeks in, though). It's not like Lea Salonga or Jenny Galloway need to play the roles to get to know them, especially Jenny Galloway. I do wonder if Alfie Boe will come in, but so far, it's only Jonas and Kerslake.
And I totally dreamed the new cast was holding a press conference and they had brought in the projections from the tour and everything.
riverdawn

Well, at least it looks like we finally know who is going to be in the cast. That's nice. Not that most of the new names mean anything to me, but it's nice to know about them anyway. Smile

I look forward to reviews once the new cast is in place.
Wandering Ranger

oh that is a relief, Norm Lewis should be great. Its also nice that Matt Lucas wont be in at the Queens, I was afraid Martin Ball was going to be temporarily sidelined!
Muscialperformer92

Eppie-Sue wrote:
Muscialperformer92 wrote:
It seems abit like everyone of the O2 cast is going to be at Queen's at some point this year.. will that also mean that Lea Salonga will play Fantine at some point in London?? I would totally die of joy if that happened!

I know that Matt Lucas will definitely not be at the Queen's at any point. I also don't think Lea Salonga will. The Norm Lewis thing can't be compared with Nick Jonas/Camilla Kerslake, as he will not be doing a short stint but play the show for the entire season, apparently (starting three weeks in, though). It's not like Lea Salonga or Jenny Galloway need to play the roles to get to know them, especially Jenny Galloway. I do wonder if Alfie Boe will come in, but so far, it's only Jonas and Kerslake.
And I totally dreamed the new cast was holding a press conference and they had brought in the projections from the tour and everything.


Even though I would do allmost anything to see Lea Salonga or Jenny Galloway in Les mis, I'm quite happy that they're not going to do a 3-week run like som others- and like you said, there is no reason for it at all! They have fully proven that they are worthy to do those parts in the concert (unlike some others.. gosh i'm disapointed.. but won't start complaining here)

I'm quite happy about Norm Lewis Smile Will be great to see him live in that part!

Is there any info about when Kerslake is going to be Cosette?
Eppie-Sue

Muscialperformer92 wrote:
Is there any info about when Kerslake is going to be Cosette?

There is no official announcement, but I bet it's the first three weeks of the new cast as well. It would make sense for her and Nick Jonas to play the parts together, and there was a bit of inside information about that as well already.
Moci

Muscialperformer92 wrote:
Is there any info about when Kerslake is going to be Cosette?


I genuinely for a moment that you meant Glyn Kerslake then. My first thought was 'Glyn Kerslake is returning to Les Mis!' and my second was 'WTF, he's playing Cosette?!?'
Obviously I've not been keeping on top of recent casting developments enough and am operating circa 1998.
BarkateerJenny

Re: London Cast: 2010/2011

Eppie-Sue wrote:

Eponine - Samantha Barks (joining)
music is my life!!! wrote:
Sam Barks' Eponine should be interesting. Personally, i'm not too sure whether she's edgy enough, but she has the voice.

We'll see Smile



wahoooooooooo!!

and yes, she definately has the voice for it, her voice is absolutely amazing live; sends chills down my spine everytime i hear her sing live!!

as for whether she is 'edgy enough', i just think she'll bring something new and fresh to the role and the show and make it completely her own! i think she is 'edgy enough' however i dont think its about that too much!

9 days til opening night!!! ahhhhhhh!! and only 11 days til i go and see it!! cant wait to see Sam on a west end stage finally, i know how much it means to her and how hard she has worked for it over the last few years! this is her dream come true and she's going to rock it!!

to hear her sing On My Own will just be...........(to quote Sam) "out of this world incredible!!" i have a feeling im going to cry.....
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Re: London Cast: 2010/2011

BarkateerJenny wrote:
Eppie-Sue wrote:

Eponine - Samantha Barks (joining)
music is my life!!! wrote:
Sam Barks' Eponine should be interesting. Personally, i'm not too sure whether she's edgy enough, but she has the voice.

We'll see Smile



wahoooooooooo!!

and yes, she definately has the voice for it, her voice is absolutely amazing live; sends chills down my spine everytime i hear her sing live!!

as for whether she is 'edgy enough', i just think she'll bring something new and fresh to the role and the show and make it completely her own! i think she is 'edgy enough' however i dont think its about that too much!

9 days til opening night!!! ahhhhhhh!! and only 11 days til i go and see it!! cant wait to see Sam on a west end stage finally, i know how much it means to her and how hard she has worked for it over the last few years! this is her dream come true and she's going to rock it!!

to hear her sing On My Own will just be...........(to quote Sam) "out of this world incredible!!" i have a feeling im going to cry.....


Look, I don't want to be unwelcoming here. It's always lovely to have new Les Mis fans on this board. But, well, to be honest, you don't really seem like a Les Mis fan at all. This isn't a place to come to rave incoherently about a single performer, particularly one who is, as yet, not really connected to the show. It's admirable that you feel so strongly about her, and that you want to support her like this, but considering that
BarkateerJenny wrote:
i have nothing to say about the current cast as i dont know who any of them are and am not too fussed about the show yet, plus i havent even seen it yet so have no idea what any of it is about (apart from the obvious). i am only interested in the 'new cast'

I am not sure that your posts are particularly appropriate, especially given how close cast change is - and while this might not mean anything to you, a lot of people here are affected a huge amount by this, and the current cast mean a lot to them. Please could you just be a bit more sensitive - imagine what it might be like for you if you were never going to see Sam again and everyone else was just raving about how great her replacement is going to be and how they can't wait, having never seen Sam perform.

Also, given that, by your own admission, you are "not too fussed about the show" and "haven't even seen it yet so have no idea what any of it is about", I hardly think you are particularly qualified to post opinions such as "i just think she'll bring something new and fresh to the role and the show and make it completely her own! i think she is 'edgy enough' however i dont think its about that too much!".
Eppie-Sue

So, from what I hear, Camilla Kerslake is a blonde Cosette, Nick Jonas is rather disappointing as Marius, and Fantine gets a different outfit (dress and wig) as a whore... and there's a lack of wigs for the students.
Just these bits seem very much tour to me (except for the Jonas bit, obviously) and I don't like the sound of it.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Eppie-Sue wrote:
So, from what I hear, Camilla Kerslake is a blonde Cosette, Nick Jonas is rather disappointing as Marius, and Fantine gets a different outfit (dress and wig) as a whore... and there's a lack of wigs for the students.
Just these bits seem very much tour to me (except for the Jonas bit, obviously) and I don't like the sound of it.
Sad Evil or Very Mad
flying_pigs

Not liking the sound of that.
I'm assuming Lucie Jones will go back to the darker wig so that makes me feel a little better.
Eppie-Sue

Alright, so, I'm posting while talking to my friend, who went tonight and, in case that is of relevance, saw the 09/10 cast about 20 times.

The overall impression is that once the following three weeks are over, and with the ensemble growing closer together and Lucie Jones hopefully being a good Cosette next to Alistair, the cast should be quite strong.

I don't think that much needs to be said about the principals that have been there for a year - maybe a word about Killian, who, compared to Wednesday's evening show (when he was still understudy), apparently seemed to vocally be holding back a bit for some reason at some parts, but fair enough, there is the pressure of opening night. Amazingly, he doesn't act as aggressive anymore, but he does need to sort out his costume and whether he really has to tie the vest at the back - the Enjolras barricade outfit is very, very unflattering to begin with, and that bit isn't really helping at all. But he's definitely got one of the strongest voices in the cast, we all know that, and it's lovely that he can show that now, and he has a lot of potential so we can be looking forward to how he develops.

Now, Samantha Barks. She's not bad at all, a very good voice and she seems to have the main idea of the character down. Of course any interaction with others is also down to them, so it depends largely on Marius (... more on that later), Montparnasse, etc. Strangely, she apparently didn't sing the words on the low notes in ALFOR, she speaks them... With a bit of time, more experience and a more "stable" set of co-actors, she seems to be anything but a disappointment, which is nice. Of course it's an early stage to be sure of where she's heading in terms of character development, she can go one way or the other, but it's looking good.

On to Camilla Kerslake. This is where it gets iffy, because she has been cast for the concert. The way she sings is very different from what Emily or even Katie sounded like, she seems to belt out half of "In My Life" without going for soft nuances or without using her head voice. Not much in terms of acting (which is fair enough with a role like this on a first night of a three week stint), but apparently there was not much of the innocence that you usually (should) get. Oh, and yes. Blonde. Which doesn't go with the black dress at all.

Nick Jonas. This is difficult, because of the fear that criticism will make people react in a knee-jerk "You just don't like him because he's Nick Jonas" way. I can say that this is not the case at all - I know that my friend went in there with the most open mind and wanted to like him. But he just disappointed. His voice isn't wrong for the part at all, and he sounds a lot older than 17, but as pleasant as it is, it's just not up to sing a score like Marius's, it seems. He cut the lines short and got out of breath very quickly. Acting-wise, there doesn't seem to be anything. I know people will argue that, well, he's had stage experience as an actor, but I don't think the "he was GAVROCHE" rule applies here at all. Being a good Gavroche doesn't mean you can work with a character like Marius. I hear that he was mostly acting at the audience and moving about very awkwardly - not awkward as Marius, but as a performer. I hope for his sake that it will improve quickly and that he'll work on his vocal strength before the concert in October, but right now, taking everything I know into account, it seems to me like he's been put into a position that he isn't necessarily right and undoubtedly too young for.

The ensemble is looking very promising. There are some very strong voices in the cast, there is a good energy that will hopefully carry on over the novelty of being in Les Mis, there is some interaction between the students and with only a few new guys coming in any way, it shouldn't be hard for them to grow closer.

There are a few changes:
- Martin Ball is, indeed, exiting the sewers through the back.
- Fantine has more of a "mullet" wig after they cut her hair off, and, well, her costume as a whore looks more like the other whores', but also more like the one Madalena Alberto gets on the tour...
- the blocking for AHFOL is changed maybe to make things easier for Jonas and Kerslake - they just move closer to sit on the bench together, there's no surprise, embarrassement and awkwardness but more of an instant relationship without any real development.
- a few changes in tracks: Jonathan, who was off (so Spike was on, and stood out because of luminous and period-inappropriate hair), is a different sailor; Gavin and Jeff have switched tracks in MotH; George, Jeff and Simon have rotated as convicts; Natalie is a whore while Chloe is the creepy hair-buying woman...

I was at the Queen's to meet my friend, and let me just say that I've never been so pissed off and disgusted by anything at the Queen's stage door. I think. Although there was a lot of creepiness in the past year regarding some performers... Tonight, though, there were about two-hundred people moving closer and closer, girls queueing without even having seen the show, paparazzi, so many flashes and cameras and screams and oh God, it was terrifying and insane and I hope they're all ashamed when they look back on this in a few years' time. Didn't hang around to see Jonas (obviously), but got quite the long talk with Jeff, and he assured me that the dark Cosette wig will be back for Lucie Jones. I think this is quite random, and I do hope Camilla Kerslake gets a bloody wig at the concert, considering she's not playing herself playing Cosette, but representing Cosette of the 25 years of Les Mis.
PureDiamondLight

Great review, thank you Very Happy

I'm hoping the stage-door-madness will calm down in three weeks when certain people leave the cast? I think it's a shame if the other members of the cast, who are really great, get overlooked because the paparazzi and crazy girls are there to see one person. Once again, grrr.

I'm looking forward to seeing the new cast - hopefully I'll make it down sometime in the autumn. Until then, thanks for the detailed reviews, they make me feel much better Wink
Quique

I always loved Fantine's dress inside-out look at the end of "Lovely Ladies." Why'd they go and change it? Leave what they did to the tour. Grr.
Muscialperformer92

Just heard a couple of recordings with the new cast- and I will be completely honest: Camilla Kerslake and Nick Jonas has their good moments, but most of the time they sound wopply, insecure and totally "out-of-range". I know it's first night and all- but come on! It sounded a bit amateurish to me Sad and Simon Bowman didn't help a lot either... I felt so relieved when Samantha Barks came on as Ponine! WOW what a voice Very Happy I thought that she would make a great eponine- but now I know! Can't wait to see her in the role Smile of course this is only based on a recording, but I'm kinda glad that I won't be in London until late july so I won't have to watch "the three week celebrity run".

I did however enjoy all the new energy in the cast- it sounds really fresh and nice Very Happy no matter how good and solid a cast is it allways bring something to rise the energy level with a couple of fresh castmembers Smile
flying_pigs

One Day More:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LxJx14myJ0

Impressed by Sam, not fussed about Camilla, thought Nick started off ok but went slightly downhill. Killian sounded amazing!
Roseinmisery

flying_pigs wrote:
One Day More:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LxJx14myJ0

Impressed by Sam, not fussed about Camilla, thought Nick started off ok but went slightly downhill. Killian sounded amazing!


I was just listening to that too. My sister begged me to turn it off because
"Nick and Camilla are killing it" and demanded we listened to "Ruffles" instead. I have to admit Nick wasn't as bad as I thought he would be. Loving Sam and Killian. Very Happy
l'ivrogne transfiguré

It's not a great recording, I'm not going to judge them too much on this. But, er, "My place. Is here. I fight. With you." ????? Ugh.
riverdawn

Hmm... just based on that recording I'm not loving Nick or Camilla...
and I'm not sure about Samantha....

But as it is really a poor recording, I suppose not too much to judge on as yet.

But can I say - WOW, Killian is awesome!
Very powerful!
He's obviously stepping into some pretty massive Enjolraic shoes there, but having heard that I am fairly confident we will not be disappointed. Smile
Ulkis

I think they sound nice.
beyondthebarricade

Well, now on the glass doors/walls at the front of the Queen's, there are huge signs which say something along the lines of "For only three weeks the role of Marius will be played by NICK JONAS and Cosette by CAMILLA KERSLAKE". Really.
The Very Angry Woman

So? They took out ads in TheaterWeek when Lea Salonga was playing Eponine on Broadway.
Quique

Not to mention Ricky Martin.
Shanice.
Catherine Hickland.
Melba Moore.
Florence Lacey.

All had special "Now starring...!" photo ads in the New York Times.
Eponines_Hat

I hope Sam develops a bi t more "light and shade" to the way she sings this. It doesn't need to be on 'belt' 95% of the time. Not fussed in Camilla or Nick - are their holding the notes for the correct time? Killian sounds great tho - very assured!
PureDiamondLight

I think the recording sounds great - v. impressed by Nick Jonas actually, after what I'd been expecting. He could probably work on his stamina, but his voice is nicer than I expected it to be. And there's no annoying accent there, which is great.

I agree about a little more light and shade for Samantha... maybe it's because I'm used to Nancy's voice which is sweet and clear as well as being strong, but a little more colour from Sam would be nice.

But Wow. Killian. Sounds. Amazing. I knew he was good, but based on this recording I would say he will be absolutely fantastic. Can't WAIT to see him in the role!! I'm sat here with a big grin on my face. This makes me very happy Wink
beyondthebarricade

The Very Angry Woman wrote:
So? They took out ads in TheaterWeek when Lea Salonga was playing Eponine on Broadway.

But I'm willing to bet there weren't a dozen fangirls squealing over that announcement.
The Very Angry Woman

Oh, there were. They were just doing it in Tagalog. (And mostly offline, seeing as it was 1993.)
SmallTownIngenue

I'm going to be honest, Nick Jonas sounds a lot better than I imagined. Wow.
Orestes Fasting

beyondthebarricade wrote:
The Very Angry Woman wrote:
So? They took out ads in TheaterWeek when Lea Salonga was playing Eponine on Broadway.

But I'm willing to bet there weren't a dozen fangirls squealing over that announcement.


You're right. Judging by the mob scenes at the Broadhurst stage door when she was playing Fantine, it was probably more like several hundred.
BlueEyedGirl

I don't know if these have been posted before but I found these pictures: http://msndk.starlounge.com/index.cfm?objectid=87030 on a danish site... mostly they are of Nick and Camilla.
Quique

The Very Angry Woman wrote:
Oh, there were. They were just doing it in Tagalog. (And mostly offline, seeing as it was 1993.)


And in Spanish. XD

When Ricky played Marius.
flying_pigs

BlueEyedGirl wrote:
I don't know if these have been posted before but I found these pictures: http://msndk.starlounge.com/index.cfm?objectid=87030 on a danish site... mostly they are of Nick and Camilla.


This is really random but have they changed Cosette's headband for the wedding? I swear it used to have red and white flowers on it and now it just has a kind of sticky out bit?

Anyway, I have to say, I think Jonas looks the part!
MSam

It looks really strange to now have a blonde Cosette and a brunette Eponine again. Razz

From the One More Day video/audio, the cast sound fine. Pedestrian, but whatever, they'll pass. The only one I was remotely interested with was Killian.
Elbow

Right... I went to see the new cast tonight, and I'm going to try and formulate some kind of fluent review, but with all the various thoughts swimming around my head about tonight's show, it might be quite hard.

So, I was sat in BB6, my least favourite of the BB seats, next to a couple of Jonas fans, who seemed to find the whole thing very amusing. The constant giggling was slightly irritating and it was made worse by the girls behind me who kept saying "NICK JONAS!" for apparently no reason. I suppose though, most of the Jonas fans were relatively well behaved, there were no photos taken until curtain call and they weren't too loud. An extra announcement was added in at the end of the interval to remind everyone to not take photos, and people seemed to actually listen. Whoops. I swore to myself I would not make this review too much focussed on Nick Jonas, and I'm already failing.

So, the cast. Jonathan was off, which was a great shame as I was looking forward to seeing his Courfeyrac. Spike was covering his track. Mark Hedges was covering Jeff's, as Jeff was on as Javert and all the girls were on.

Firstly, Bowman has gotten worse, I swear. His Valjean seemed even more smug and up himself than usual, which was saddening. There were lots of gestures in The Confrontation, including his new sort of half shrug thing during the line "all I did was steal some bread" which very much gives the impression that Valjean doesn't think he deserved to go to prison, when anyone who read the book will know that that wasn't Valjean at all. But, we’ve been through this.

So, I spent most of the first scenes mainly working out who was who, so I wasn't paying an awful lot of attention to what was actually being done, next time I go I will have more detail on this. Some of the tracks have changed as well, making it all the more confusing to work out. Basically, it seems that Jonathan has kept his track, but plays Courfeyrac. Therefore, Jay Bryce the new Lesgles is following most of Mark Dugdale's old track until Look Down.

At The End Of The Day remains pretty much the same, who sings what-wise. Martin Neeley was on as foreman and his wig is now in a ponytail, with a bit hanging down. I'm not sure what it is with wigs in ponytails with a bit hanging down at the front that they like so much at Les Mis, but they certainly seem to think it's necessary. I took this opportunity to have a look at Lucie Jones since I knew she was only going to be in the first few scenes, and the first thing I thought of, looking at her and Samantha Barks was that Samantha looks like a Cosette and she looks like an Eponine. She's very slender and skinny whereas Samantha is a lot more rounder faced. I have to say, I am very much looking forward to seeing her Cosette though - I'm not sure why, I just have a good feeling about it. And not only that, anything will be better than Camilla Kerslake (I'll get to that later.) Chloe Hart as Factory Bitch I wasn't sure about. Her voice is very shrill sounding, and I definitely find Sophie's voice preferable. Her voice however was strong and did carry well and she delivered what she was supposed to do, so I can't really complain. Something just wasn't quite right though, the fight looked a lot more choreographed and her acting didn't seem awfully natural.

Gavin's track has changed in Lovely Ladies. He is now just a sleazy man. I think I'm right in saying that Jay Bryce is now Fantine's first customer, but I could be wrong. At that point I was still getting used to recognising all the new faces, so I'm not 100% on that. I prefer Fantine's new costume and wig, I think, and I actually enjoyed Rebecca's performance a lot more than usual today.

Master Of The House was good, I think it will improve with time actually, because I suppose a lot of the new ensemble are just very much concentrating on following their tracks at the moment as opposed to actually being more improvised. Gavin as the second traveller was very amusing, him and Simon Shorten did a little bit during the slow motion where something gets dropped on the floor, they both lean down to pick it up but end up touching each other's hands by mistake. They kept their hands touching for quite a while, while maintaining eye contact and then both looked away, embarrassed, which made me chuckle. Martin Neeley now does the arm wrestle with Jay Bryce who is clearly stronger than Joe Evans used to be as it is now Jay Bryce that wins the wrestle, rather than Martin.

Obviously it was Look Down and onwards that I was looking forward to, as I wanted to check out the new leads. It was my first time seeing Killian as Enjolras, and as he's been a firm favourite of mine over the last 2 years, and having seen him as Valjean and Javert, I had very high hopes for his Enjolras (which indeed he lived up to, more on that later though.) So, James Smoker as Montparnasse was good. Not great, but good. I think he's going to turn out to be a very strong cast member and I think Montparnasse is a hard role to actually act well. John Jo from two years ago was fantastically creepy and moved so lightly and lurked in the shadows and... it's hard to describe but he had this Montparnasse look in his eye, and he moved like smoke... sort of. I thought Thomas never quite got the hang of this, and although I did grow to quite like his Montparnasse he never really was Montparnasse to me. James Smoker however, does seem to be at the very start of being a bit more of a John Jo Montparnasse, it was the way he moved. He wasn't interacting very much with the rest of the Patron-Minette though, and there certainly needs to be a lot of chemistry there in order to be a good Montparnasse. He wasn't particularly stand out - but as I said, early days.

Samantha Barks was impressive. Her voice is clearly stronger than Nancy's and she uses it well, her characterisation needs a bit of work though. She walked and moved like an Eponine at first but, seemed to forget about that as the show went on. I did like her, but I'm wondering if she's going to be an eppie-boppers Eponine rather than one that acts the part well. Not that she doesn't act, she does but I'm not quite sure whether she'll take the easy route, of being a easily understandable Eponine that casual audiences will relate to or whether she'll take it a bit further like Nancy did. There certainly was a madder side to her Eponine and I'd like to see that explored. Her On My Own was vocally very strong but the movements and gestures were very showy and Broadway-ish. Whether that was down to her or down to direction she was given, I know not, but it would be nice to see it more subtle. Her diction was very good though, I thought. She sounded very clear.

I'll move on to Nick Jonas and Killian and the rest of the students a bit now.
Killian... well, what can I say? He is one of the most reliably good cast members through and through and the fact that he actually has his own part now is incredibly exciting. I enjoyed everything about his performance. His entrance in Look Down was vocally outstanding, which made me feel a bit sorry for poor Nick Jonas who is possibly the least vocally strong Marius I have ever seen. To me, it seemed like he struggled with almost every line. His diction was poor and his voice very quiet. Whether he is already feeling the strain of so many shows or whether he just hasn't got a very strong voice I don't know, but there was a lot of cropped lines where to me it sounded as though his voice was giving out. There was no feeling what so ever in any of his lines, as though he was singing with no punctuation, if that makes sense. To me, Alistair is definitely the stronger Marius. Of course, Alistair has the advantage of already being the show for a year, but even vocally I'd say he was better. Personally, I agree with others and don't think that Alistair has an incredibly strong voice and he does have the obvious floor of having a tendency of sounding a bit like a sheep, but his voice is actually very reliable and he hits every note in the score, and not only that, he acts the role well. You come out of the theatre knowing what his Marius is about. Nick however seemed to simply just roll out the lines having giving their meaning no thought at all and I didn't get any character at all from his Marius, half of the time he didn't even seem to be acting at all. His diction was terrible and a lot of the lines seemed a bit swallowed and he struggled with the low notes in Empty Chairs. I feel bad for saying all of this but this is just what I got from him, he's only 17 though and I'm pretty sure this whole thing was pretty much thrown at him. This just makes the casting decision for the 25th concert seem all the more odd to me. I actually thought he would be an amazing singer at least, but he wasn't, he was just a teenage lad who could sing in tune, that was all.

Camilla Kerslake was very... blah. She can obviously sing, but I don't think she was particularly amazing. As has already been said, she belted a lot of the notes. Also, she actually has quite a mature voice, possibly too mature sounding for Cosette. She made Cosette into just an average female role, which is incredibly easy to do, given Cosette's limited stage time. She did absolutely nothing for me whatsoever and just made the character dull. Of course, she's only in it for three weeks though and I hope Lucie Jones is better, and like I said, I have a good feeling about her. I will miss Emily Bull very much. She was the first Cosette I really liked, and I enjoyed her performance every time I saw her.

Killian's performance was fantastic. I think the cafe scene was actually the least strong part of his performance though, as that is the part where you are supposed to get the feel of Enjolras' power and leadership. At the moment, while it is clear he is the leader and that he should be the leader he hasn't quite got the full power of Enjolras. On the barricades however, "brick" Enjolras came through a lot more and he gave one of the strongest final battles I have ever heard. I think, if he can get it together a bit more in the cafe scene then he will be even more amazing. At the moment though, it must be hard for him, not only it being the first week and having to remember all the blocking for a very physically exerting role but also because having been in the cast with Thaxton for 2 years, he knows that the way Thaxton played it worked, but needs to do it his own way, as being a carbon copy of Thaxton would be no good... If that makes sense. What I mean is, he is still finding is own way of delivering it and the easy way would be to copy Thaxton, however, he seems to be taking time in developing it his own way. Which is a good thing.

I didn't get anything very "Courfeyrac" out of Spike Grimsey, he just seemed like any other student, rather than Courfeyrac and his hair is ridiculous. He has a good reliable voice and, other than the hair, he blends in quite well. I look forward to seeing his Thenardier. I imagine he is understudy bishop as well, since he was in previous years and now both previous bishop understudies have left. That'll be interesting too.

Matthew Seadon Young was a very sweet Jean Prouvaire. He definitely looked the part, very young and meek and a nice voice. There's not an awful lot more to say about him, he was a good Prouvaire but I didn't notice him too much as I was mainly looking at Killian in the student scenes, since it was my first time seeing him as Enjolras.

I didn't like Scott Garnham very much. And the worst thing is, I have no idea why! I can't pick anything wrong about his performance I don't think, he just wasn't very Feuilly to me, and having had such an amazing Feuilly this past year to one that didn't stand out... I don't know. Next time I'll definitely pay him more attention and either work out why I didn't like him or hopefully start to like him.

Jay Bryce. Definitely my favourite new male ensemble member. He just somehow fit right in. He was already adlibbing a bit in the cafe scene, being quite loud and everything was just right. He also was quite a loud singer - I always love it when you can hear one particular ensemble member over everyone else, for some reason. Like John Jo aka The Siren or Mark Dugdale if you are sat in the right place in ATEOTD or Antony in Look Down... the list goes on, anyway, I could hear him quite a lot and he had a very strong baritone voice and I think he might be able to hit the low "chaaa-aaiin" when he goes on as Javert which would make me very happy indeed. He is also physically built for how I imagine Javert to be - tall and well built (even though really I suppose Javert should be smaller than Valjean... but I have never imagined it that way.) But yes, to me he was definitely the stand out.

Oh, a couple more changes - thanks to Joe Evans now practically everyone claps and says "bravo!" at Grantaire in Red and Black. I think apart from Enjolras, Combeferre and Courfeyrac everyone did. Not sure about that. And after Valjean "shoots" Javert, they have reverted back to what they did in the 08/09 cast - everyone hits their guns on the floor, a few times, leaving Courfeyrac doing it longer than anyone.

Chloe is now a barricade boy, and AJ is now a barricade girl. The other Chloe now wails instead of Laura Medforth. It's terrible. And it kills the moment.

There was a very strong voice doing the warnings today. As everyone was on stage I can only imagine it was the off stage swing, Chris Theo-Cook. If that is the case then he sounds very promising.

Jeff was great as Javert as usual, getting very enthusiastic applause for both Stars and his Suicide.

The two new ensemble girls who I haven't mentioned... Francesca Leyland and Lucy Garrioch seemed to fit in well too - I didn't give their performance an awful lot of thought though, due to trying to work out who was who etc. Again, when I see the new cast a second time, I'll try and notice them a bit more.

I stagedoored briefly at the end, but didn't talk to any of the new cast. I think it'll be easier after Jonas mania has passed. Everyone just comes out looking a bit bemused, stands around for a bit looking at all the Jonas fans then they leave. It must be so strange for them joining and being confronted with this for their first few weeks!

I think that's all. Well done to anyone who actually bothers to read all of this.
riverdawn

Wow, thanks for the really detailed review, Elbow!

It's really interesting, and makes me look forward to hearing more about the new cast and maybe getting a chance to see them sometime. Smile

I am a bit disappointed that they went back to everyone hitting their guns after Javert is "shot". I quite liked it when it was just Courfeyrac, and there was this complex relationship where Courfeyrac wanted to just execute Javert, Enjolras was against it, and Combeferre was mediating between the two sometimes... But, oh well, I guess these sorts of things change.

It sounds from your review as though after the 3-week Jonas/Kerslake madness passes and after everyone has a bit more time to settle into their roles, there's a good chance this will be a pretty good cast (Bowman notwithstanding).
jayj1

Great review!

I agree on the whole with everything you've said although I have to say I did like Scott Garnham as Feuilly. I thought his '...water the meadows of France' was really powerful and 'Drink With Me' was more sensitive and warm then previous.

There are lots of little changes I noticed but I didn't dislike anything or anyone other than the obvious (Jonas/Kerslake and Bowman).

Look forward to reading other peoples reviews.
PureDiamondLight

Thanks for the fantastic review, Elbow!

I have one question: why do the students at the barricade hit their guns on the floor? Is it in salute to the dead? Just wondering Smile
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Thank you so much for the review! Smile

Apart from the short-term people, it does indeed seem to be a promising cast, which is good. I just hope they live up to the potential. It's a shame Jonathan was still(?) off, he's actually one of the people I'm really looking forward to seeing - at the moment, I can't imagine him as Courfeyrac at all, but I imagine he will probably be good.

Also, how were Martin and Lorraine? Has much changed in their performance?

ETA: Also, according to londonlesmis, Natalie is now a whore? What's she like? I think she could be an awesome whore Smile. And what's the new second crone like?
Oh, and is anyone going today who will see Lucie Jones?
pastaeater

Thanks for the review Elbow - really enjoyed reading it.
I just can't wait to see Killian now.........
riverdawn

PureDiamondLight wrote:
Thanks for the fantastic review, Elbow!

I have one question: why do the students at the barricade hit their guns on the floor? Is it in salute to the dead? Just wondering Smile


As far as I've always understood it, it's the equivalent of applause in response to Valjean's actions, meaning it's a way of saying "good job" for executing the spy.

At least, that's the only way it made sense to me the way it was done this year with Mark Dugdale and David Thaxton - Courfeyrac wanted them to execute Javert to begin with. When he thinks Valjean has done so, he applauds him for it by banging his gun. Then Enjolras, who didn't really want Javery summarily executed gets annoyed at him and says "Courfeyrac, you take the watch..."
beyondthebarricade

l'ivrogne transfiguré wrote:
ETA: Also, according to londonlesmis, Natalie is now a whore? What's she like? I think she could be an awesome whore Smile. And what's the new second crone like?

Alright, yes Natalie's a whore, and the crone is Chloe Brooks. I personally thought they were better in their 09/10 roles (just like with Gavin and Jeff's MotH roles).

As for the other students, I'm just going to pop in and say a bit. I disliked Scott as Feuilly too, as Antony really tried to make the part his own, with all the ad-libbing and the death scene that he improvised. For example, after Grantaire is all "I am agog, I am aghast...", Antony would be pissed off, and saying something along the lines of "Sit down, Grantaire! Sit." Now this new Feuilly, Scott, doesn't really do anything except from what he is told to do. I'm not saying that he has to copy Antony's ad-libs, but I expected more personality and characterisation which I wasn't getting. Having said that, I know that this is only their first week and that they still have time to grow into the character.

Now the other one I didn't really like was Spike Grimbsy who covered Courfeyrac. I feel that there wasn't much to his Courfeyrac, like after Gavroche exposes Javert, Mark used to talk fiercely to David, and then let out a huge "SHOOT THE BASTARD!", and even after David stopped him you could see that Mark was talking strongly to David and Courfeyrac really wanted Javert to die. Spike just stood there, delivered his "Shoot the bastard" line with not much passion and seemed more than happy to put his gun down when Killian stopped him.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

beyondthebarricade wrote:
Now the other one I didn't really like was Spike Grimbsy who covered Courfeyrac. I feel that there wasn't much to his Courfeyrac, like after Gavroche exposes Javert, Mark used to talk fiercely to David, and then let out a huge "SHOOT THE BASTARD!", and even after David stopped him you could see that Mark was talking strongly to David and Courfeyrac really wanted Javert to die. Spike just stood there, delivered his "Shoot the bastard" line with not much passion and seemed more than happy to put his gun down when Killian stopped him.


Ah, but he's a swing so it's probably not fair to compare him to Mark, certainly at this stage ... and he's got to be better than Greg, surely? Wink
PureDiamondLight

riverdawn wrote:
PureDiamondLight wrote:
Thanks for the fantastic review, Elbow!

I have one question: why do the students at the barricade hit their guns on the floor? Is it in salute to the dead? Just wondering Smile


As far as I've always understood it, it's the equivalent of applause in response to Valjean's actions, meaning it's a way of saying "good job" for executing the spy.

At least, that's the only way it made sense to me the way it was done this year with Mark Dugdale and David Thaxton - Courfeyrac wanted them to execute Javert to begin with. When he thinks Valjean has done so, he applauds him for it by banging his gun. Then Enjolras, who didn't really want Javery summarily executed gets annoyed at him and says "Courfeyrac, you take the watch..."


Ah, that makes sense. Thank you Smile
Quique

Thanks for the review.

It sounds to me that these new folks are being reviewed based on other actors' performances, which I don't think is too fair. It seems more like complaining that they are not the cast one is used to rather than a proper assessment of individual performance. I understand that previous actors may have given maximum effectiveness to their lines/roles, but unless those performances have now become the new standard, it is likely they will never be matched. However, that doesn't necessarily translate to bad performances. Maybe not as good...

I really wanted to see the previous cast. Damn it. And now, it's too late.
Eppie-Sue

In a few cases, I think that came through, yes, but most of the time, I feel like it's not criticism based on comparison, but the comparisons are drawn to give a better picture of what the performance has been like. For anyone who hasn't seen the new cast yet, it's much easier to imagine what it feels like by reading this, than to get a completely blank review, especially as the vast majority of users here on the forums are fairly familiar with the way things have been in 2009/10. Also, it's natural. We're being subjective, we compare, etc., but I don't think we're being unfair. There needs to be a certain bit of context for criticism (positive and negative), and if that context is provided by taking note of differences between former performers and new performers, it's one way to go about it. I haven't seen anyone stating anything unreasonable, quite the opposite. And it was the same last year, anyway, until the very same people who had compared, say, Alistair Brammer with Jon Robyns, Thomas Camilleri with John Jo Flynn and Martin Neely with Richard Woodford adapted to the change. No one has harshly criticsed anyone's performance by simply stating "He/She is not [David/Antony/Mark/Nancy/Sophie/...]", there has always been a note about how they're new to the roles, etc.
Quique

As an outsider, I guess it's easy to say "hey, it's not their fault" of the new cast members, but as you said, the reviewers acknowledged that they're new and will have to grow into their roles, which is good.

I wasn't really upset. Just casually observing and there is a bit of self-mocking irony in my last comment. So I hope none of y'all think I'm up in arms over here, lol.
eponine5

Thnaks for the review!
The cast actually seems like it will be quite strong after they've had time to settle into their roles...

I am happy to hear that you were impressed with Jay Bryce! When this new cast was announced he was actually the new addition who I was most excited about, because I saw him as a guest singer in a concert with Rebecca Caine and his voice and overall performance was pretty amazing. I just wish hoping to see his Javert didn't mean hoping not to see Jeff's Javert as well, because I love Jeff Nicholson (he's the only one of my 'favourite understudies' who hasn't since been promoted to a principle role). In general I'm feeling a lot better about this cast!
Quique

The current tempos used in the London production are killing me. Could they not be any faster? The tour tempos are good. Sad that they feel the need to speed them up so much in London.
PureDiamondLight

Quique wrote:
The current tempos used in the London production are killing me. Could they not be any faster? The tour tempos are good. Sad that they feel the need to speed them up so much in London.


I agree - the tempos in London are a little fast for my liking, not too much to spoil the overall performance, but enough that some parts feel slightly rushed... especially the end of One Day More; I always feel that works much better if it's got a decent rit in the last few bars. It makes it so much more impressive.
flying_pigs

Article on Lucie's first night as Cosette:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1290315/X-Factor-contestant-Lucie-Jones-makes-West-End-debut-alongside-Nick-Jonas-Les-Miserables.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

She makes a very pretty Cosette! Was anyone there on saturday?
PureDiamondLight

I wasn't there in saturday, but I'm really looking forward to seeing her when I next see the show. Smile hopefully she will be great. I have to say I really enjoyed her performances on X factor, and am sure she can make the transition well to the stage.
KatyRoseLand

I saw the show Wednesday night and Thursday night, so this review could get confusing - but here goes!

Understudies / swings: On Wednesday, Natalie Day was Fantine with Daisy Maywood in her track, and Mark (Stuart!) Hedges was in Dylan Williams' track. On Thursday, Rebecca was back but Lorraine was off, so Rachel Bingham was Mme Thenardier, with Emma Westhead in her track, and Chloe Brooks wasn't there so Daisy Maywood was covering her track.

I think I'll do this performer by performer. Right. So:

Simon Bowman as Jean Valjean: He has improved SO much vocally since he started. I actually quite liked listening to him, except for in BHH when he was horribly flat both nights. Other than that, he was vocally very strong though. I am not a fan of his portrayal but, not having read the book, it doesn't bother me that much, I just tend to find him quite funny, and it makes me focus more on other characters, which isn't a bad thing.

Hans Peter Janssens as Javert: Everyone knows I love him by now. His Stars was very strong last night especially, and I think his Suicide is amazing. I've never seen him from further back than row B though so I don't know if I'd like him less from further away, since most of what I love about him is his acting with his eyes. I love that he has, like, three facial expressions, and yet I can tell what he's thinking ALL the time. It's wonderful. I can see why other people don't like him but he's just my kind of Javert, I guess.

Major love for Gavin as the Bishop. I know that's nothing new, but he really is fantastic.

Chloe Hart is a fricking scary Factory Bitch. She hasn't quite got the coin jingling down, but her smirkiness during the factory scene is great and I really like her voice.
Natalie Day as Fantine: She's just so vulnerable. I love it. I think she plays it as a woman on the edge right from the start, who is acutely aware of the fact that she's got this incredibly shameful secret all the time. Her voice is lovely and she acts Fantine's descent really well.

Rebecca Seale as Fantine: I'm still not a fan of her "Then it all went a-wrong", but she grows on me every time I see her and I really enjoyed her performance last night. However, the new wig and dress are horrible and should be burned and forgotten swiftly.

On both Wednesday and Thursday Sasha Eastabrook was little Cosette and I think she's great. London seems to be really lucky to have a very good batch of little Cosettes and Gavroches at the moment. Also, kudos to little Eponine who was really rocking it out in Look Down, I think it was Eliza Love.

Martin Ball as Thenardier: I wasn't watching him at all in MOTH either night because I was entirely distracted by the antics of Simon Shorten and Gavin James. Dog Eats Dog was wonderful though, he just gets better and better.

Lorraine Bruce as Mme Thenardier: Giddy aunt, she's terrifying, but heaven knows I love her. It doesn't bother me at all that she doesn't sing that much, she sings enough, and she is SO in character all the time.

Rachel Bingham as Mme Thenardier: She was much better than last time I saw her; she was very much a sidekick when I saw her before but she came into her own a bit more last night.

Gavroche was wonderful both nights... it could have been Jonathan Gardner? Darn me for not noticing properly... he was great, anyway. I like Gavroches who are genuinely funny.

Samantha Barks as Eponine: Samantha has a lovely tone to her voice, I really enjoyed listening to her. Characterisation-wise, I think given time and a permanent Marius, she'll be excellent. I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed her Eponine, I thought I'd like her but I think now, given time, I'll love her. She needs to stop wearing a modern bra with the strap showing though.

Camilla Kerslake as Cosette: She was MUCH stronger on Thursday than on Wednesday. I think she's lovely and if she had more time in the role I think she'd end up being amazing, but she's definitely very good. Although her voice isn't really suited to the role, she hits the notes and her characterisation is already quite delightful since I like my Cosettes to be the sweet, smiling type, but I'm not sure others would agree with me.

Nick Jonas as Marius: I'm just going to put this out there - I'm a fan of the Jonas Brothers. Well, Nick and Kevin, anyway. Not a card carrying, t-shirt wearing, diehard fan, but I like them a lot and I think they're very talented. So I went in expecting to love him, and on Wednesday I was very disappointed. He was much better on Thursday but he is completely out of his depth vocally. I actually admire him a lot for putting himself out there and being brave enough to take on this role, and I thought his acting was lovely and his characterisation was spot on for me, but he has no breath control. Listening to him taking those little teeny breaths before ECAET was really uncomfortable. With some proper musical theatre vocal training I think he'd be a force to be reckoned with though.

Killian Donnelly as Enjolras: He is so vocally strong, he's really a pleasure to listen to. His eyebrows and fringe distracted me a bit though, did they make him get a fringe so his hair would look like the tour wig? If so - bad idea. Other than that, I thought he really stood out and he'll go from strength to strength now that he's in the role full time.

I love the new Jean Prouvaire, Matthew Seadon Young, and I can't wait to see him as Marius.

I kept noticing random things that I'd never noticed before and I couldn't work out if they were new or if I'd just never noticed them... it was quite disconcerting.

Also, George Miller can never leave.
Eponines_Hat

KatyRoseLand wrote:

Also, George Miller can never leave.


There really needs to be a "like" button on this forum Very Happy
beyondthebarricade

Well if it helps, I think Rebecca said that wig and costume was still in the proccess of being sorted out. I think she prefers the old one too, but she said that design isn't fixed and there could be changes.
pastaeater

Thanks very much for the review KatyRoseLand. We don't seem to have as many reviews on here as we used to and I really miss them!! I would love to hear more about the new cast.

Getting rather sidetracked by the thought of Killian's hair.........is it very blond and, um, fringey?
PureDiamondLight

pastaeater wrote:
Thanks very much for the review KatyRoseLand. We don't seem to have as many reviews on here as we used to and I really miss them!! I would love to hear more about the new cast.


I second that. All reviews are very much appreciated by those who aren't in a position to go to london as frequently as they would like. Thank you!!
KatyRoseLand

pastaeater wrote:
Thanks very much for the review KatyRoseLand. We don't seem to have as many reviews on here as we used to and I really miss them!! I would love to hear more about the new cast.

Getting rather sidetracked by the thought of Killian's hair.........is it very blond and, um, fringey?


No problem!

Killian's hair is... pretty blond and fringey, yeah. I mean, his eyebrows are REALLY dark (I don't know if they are naturally dark, I don't think they are, they looked filled in) so they contrast strongly with his hair, making it look blonder than it may actually be. And the fringe is really present. You know, it's too short to push back successfully, so it's always in his face, being fringey. Which isn't a problem, obviously, it's just that he looks different to how I imagined he'd look as Enjolras.
pastaeater

KatyRoseLand wrote:
pastaeater wrote:
Thanks very much for the review KatyRoseLand. We don't seem to have as many reviews on here as we used to and I really miss them!! I would love to hear more about the new cast.

Getting rather sidetracked by the thought of Killian's hair.........is it very blond and, um, fringey?


No problem!

Killian's hair is... pretty blond and fringey, yeah. I mean, his eyebrows are REALLY dark (I don't know if they are naturally dark, I don't think they are, they looked filled in) so they constrast strongly with his hair, making it look blonder than it may actually be. And the fringe is really present. You know, it's too short to push back successfully, so it's always in his face, being fringey. Which isn't a problem, obviously, it's just that he looks different to how I imagined he'd look as Enjolras.

Hmm, strange.........That does sound rather like Jon Robyns blond wig and dark eyebrows on the tour (one of the several unsuccessful aspects of Jon Robyns' Enjolras imo), but that must surely be a coincidence? Confused

I've just looked at Killian's Twitter photo and his eyebrows are quite fair.......
(Note to self - must try to get out a bit more!)
hilz_72

Thanks for the reviews so far, I'm really looking forward to seeing this cast in their roles.

For those wondering about Killians hair/fringe ... someone linked this to his twitter (yes I have a lot of time on my hands) http://twitpic.com/22rfrm
MizzieFan

So, this has just been posted a few minutes ago on WOS's twitter:

Ramin Karimloo + Samantha Barks join LES MIS anniversary concert at O2 + matinee added, Nick Jonas extends in West End. More on WOS soon

I .. am not sure what to think of this. Hopefully they'll post more detailed news soon.
jeanette_1832

This is from broadwayworld.com:

Quote:
In other casting news, the Original Production at the Queen’s Theatre will welcome Norm Lewis as Javert from 5 July and X Factor’s Lucie Jones as Cosette from 12 July. Lucie joins Nick Jonas as Marius. Nick has managed to extend his run in the show for an extra two weeks until 24 July, due to a recent change in the Jonas Brothers world tour schedule that will now start at a later date. Alistair Brammer returns to the role of Marius from 26 July.


I just hope it all returns to normal before I go to see the show again in August.
beyondthebarricade

What. I don't think it's fair at all for Nick to just extend his contract according to his whim and fancy, especially when it was already agreed that Alistair comes back in next week. It's almost like having no respect for normal contracts, and goodness, no respect for the show. Just because he's this big star doesn't exactly mean he can turn everything topsy turvy and get away with it. I feel bad for Alistair, now.
Orestes Fasting

beyondthebarricade wrote:
Just because he's this big star doesn't exactly mean he can turn everything topsy turvy and get away with it.


Unfortunately, that's the way stunt casting works. It sucks for Alistair, who doesn't even get vacation because of this whole "Nick Jonas is too special to play a judge in Who Am I" business, but realistically, Nick Jonas is in for as long as he wants to be. He's probably driving ticket sales through the roof, so Cameron Mackintosh is not going to refuse him if he wants to extend his contract. And as much as it sucks for Alistair, he did sign on for this and probably knew Nick would extend if he could.

(Besides, it's Cammack, contracts are more like guidelines anyway. /bitter)
pastaeater

hilz_72 wrote:
Thanks for the reviews so far, I'm really looking forward to seeing this cast in their roles.

For those wondering about Killians hair/fringe ... someone linked this to his twitter (yes I have a lot of time on my hands) http://twitpic.com/22rfrm

Thanks for the pic - the hair looks better than I thought!

Concerned to hear about Alastair, but I guess, realistically, that's the way these things go as far as "celebs" and "non- celebs" are concerned........
Ramin Karimloo at the 25th Anni concert? Well, could have been worse.........
The Very Angry Woman

Orestes Fasting wrote:
Unfortunately, that's the way stunt casting works. It sucks for Alistair, who doesn't even get vacation because of this whole "Nick Jonas is too special to play a judge in Who Am I" business, but realistically, Nick Jonas is in for as long as he wants to be.


Wait, so is he not a convict either? Not quite a fair comparison, but Lea Salonga and Andrea McArdle did all their ensemble tracks, IIRC. (Although I don't think Melba Moore did.)
riverdawn

The Very Angry Woman wrote:
Orestes Fasting wrote:
Unfortunately, that's the way stunt casting works. It sucks for Alistair, who doesn't even get vacation because of this whole "Nick Jonas is too special to play a judge in Who Am I" business, but realistically, Nick Jonas is in for as long as he wants to be.


Wait, so is he not a convict either? Not quite a fair comparison, but Lea Salonga and Andrea McArdle did all their ensemble tracks, IIRC. (Although I don't think Melba Moore did.)


As far as I understand, Jonas isn't doing any of the ensemble tracks. Alistair does all of 'Marius's' ensemble tracks, with Jonas only playing Marius.
hazellwood

riverdawn wrote:
The Very Angry Woman wrote:
Orestes Fasting wrote:
Unfortunately, that's the way stunt casting works. It sucks for Alistair, who doesn't even get vacation because of this whole "Nick Jonas is too special to play a judge in Who Am I" business, but realistically, Nick Jonas is in for as long as he wants to be.


Wait, so is he not a convict either? Not quite a fair comparison, but Lea Salonga and Andrea McArdle did all their ensemble tracks, IIRC. (Although I don't think Melba Moore did.)


As far as I understand, Jonas isn't doing any of the ensemble tracks. Alistair does all of 'Marius's' ensemble tracks, with Jonas only playing Marius.


What?! That's ridiculous! That's totally unfair for Alistair.
The Very Angry Woman

riverdawn wrote:
The Very Angry Woman wrote:
Orestes Fasting wrote:
Unfortunately, that's the way stunt casting works. It sucks for Alistair, who doesn't even get vacation because of this whole "Nick Jonas is too special to play a judge in Who Am I" business, but realistically, Nick Jonas is in for as long as he wants to be.


Wait, so is he not a convict either? Not quite a fair comparison, but Lea Salonga and Andrea McArdle did all their ensemble tracks, IIRC. (Although I don't think Melba Moore did.)


As far as I understand, Jonas isn't doing any of the ensemble tracks. Alistair does all of 'Marius's' ensemble tracks, with Jonas only playing Marius.


Oh. That is effed up.
Quique

I'm just wondering who's insisted on it--from Jonas' side or not?

Anyone know if Ricky Martin played all tracks? I'm sure he did because I can clearly hear him as one of the poor in "At the End of the Day" and to date, I think he's the only one comparable to Nick in celebrity. He was unknown to non-Hispanics in the U.S. at the time but he was HUGE in all Latin America. As in sold-out sports arena huge. But it could be it was his choice to do all tracks. That's why I wonder if it's Nick's personal wish to only do Marius.

If so, duuuuuuuuude!!!!! You should go for the real deal and do all tracks!! Don't be a wussy!! lol.
The Very Angry Woman

I'm pretty sure he did -- didn't that Entertainment Tonight piece show Ricky Martin rehearsing as one of the constables during Fantine's Arrest? I'm at work right now and can't check it, but I seem to remember seeing footage of that (even if it wasn't ET).
Quique

Hmm, not sure myself. I had a Spanish news piece once of him in rehearsal but they only showed him singing ECAET. Although I recall him saying that the experience playing Marius was one of the most grueling things ever but he loved it as it taught him so much.

I doubt he'd say that if he only did Marius, hehe. I hope Nick samples the same experience instead of staying backstage the whole time until "Look Down" being pampered/getting massages/pedicures/etc.. XD
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