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BarkateerJenny

Orestes Fasting wrote:

Quote:
thankyou!!! that is what i have been trying to say but it always comes across as im just biased towards Sam so know one seems to take me seriously on here!!

Sam has the same right as anyone else to be cast in the concert and she totally deserves it!! She has worked soooo hard for the past few years!! Just because she was on a reality tv show which just helped to launch her career a couple of years earlier than she was expecting does not make her any less of a West End Star now than anyone else, past or present!!

She is not just someone who just swaned into the public eye through a tv show and has now got a role in the West End!! This is what she has been working towards and training for for years!! If it hadn't have been for 'I'd Do Anything' she would still be at Arts Ed training just like everyone else that's in the West End does, and she would be getting roles probably just in the ensemble afterwards until someone spotted her. Her being on a reality tv show was just a way of her getting noticed, that's all. She's worked as hard as anyone else for this and completely deserves it all!!


Er, no, that's not what you've been saying, and you've been nothing but biased towards Sam Barks. I agree that she had the same right to be cast as everyone else, but her hard work doesn't make her more particularly deserving than anyone else, it just means she's one of many legit possibilities for the concert. She was in the right place (the London LM cast) at the right time (the 25th anniversary year), that's all, and I hate to break this to you but she was probably the backup plan. I'm guessing the announcement took so long because they were trying for some major celebrity engagement that fell through.

And the randomness and weirdness of the concert casting probably is an attempt to avoid repetition. They've done the dream cast, with outstanding talent and fan favorites from within the ranks of the show. They've done a straight-up broadcast of the West End cast. And now they're doing something different.

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All I'm saying is that Sam deserves it as much as anyone else and agree that it's well done of Cameron Mackintosh to have cast at least one person from the current London cast that is the 25th anniversary cast, therefore representing them.


You wouldn't have given a flying toss about representing the London cast if it hadn't been Sam Barks who was picked.


well i'm sorry for trying to stick up and support not only someone who i look up to but my friend. somebody has to on here.

and to be honest, if Sam wasn't in Les Mis i wouldn't care about the show or the concert anyway, let alone whether the london cast were being represented in it.

i just wish people on here would be a bit nicer towards her, ok, express your views, but make sure they are clear that they are not aimed at Sam or critising her if you are moaning about the casting of the concert, thats all i ask, thankyou
Orestes Fasting

We're at cross purposes then. You don't give a fig about Les Mis. I don't give a fig about Sam Barks. I'm batting in her corner only to the extent that I feel people actually are being unfair towards her, whereas you only seem to be here to cheerlead for her.
BarkateerJenny

Orestes Fasting wrote:
I'm batting in her corner only to the extent that I feel people actually are being unfair towards her,


that's exactly why I am trying to show people that they are being mean about her. their messages seem to be directed at Sam rather than the casting/concert etc. and that's all I'm annoyed about and trying to stop.

I apologise for my constant Sam supportive messages.
Moci

BarkateerJenny wrote:
Orestes Fasting wrote:
I'm batting in her corner only to the extent that I feel people actually are being unfair towards her,


that's exactly why I am trying to show people that they are being mean about her. their messages seem to be directed at Sam rather than the casting/concert etc. and that's all I'm annoyed about and trying to stop.

I apologise for my constant Sam supportive messages.


Here's the problem, in my view. Nobody is saying anything about Samantha Barks that requires her to be supported. Nobody has called into question her abilities, nor her dedication to getting to where she is. What people have been saying is that she doesn't fit the trend of the rest of the performers that have been cast in the 25th Anniversary Concert. She's not particularly famous, she's not overly well known for her involvement in Les Mis, she just happens to have been lucky enough to have been in the right place at the right time and I really hope that she's good.

Furthermore, if you're going to swan in everytime somebody writes the name Samantha Barks and doesn't use the word 'fantastic' in the same sentence, this is going to be a very long year for everybody. Very few people on this forum have seen this years cast yet, but as time goes by, they are going to and they'll probably want to review. People on this forum are nit-picking fanatics when it comes to 'Les Mis', that's why people seek out a forum to talk about the show. No matter how good she is (and from what I recall of her from TV, she had a very good voice and the makings of a good actress), she's not going to be universally popular. I can't recall any actor whose appeared in Les Mis who has been. The show has been running too long, too many actors have played the roles and the show is based on such well-regarded source material, that it'd be impossible to completely satisfy everybody. So many different interpretations have been favoured by so many different people that no actor could totally fill them and gain universally good reviews from people who know the show that well. It's unfortunate, but true. No matter how good the performer in question is, here there'll always be the review of "Excellent, but I didn't like the way she held the locket" or "I loved him, except during 'The Confrontation'".

Additionally, I don't get what Miss Barks' working so hard has to do with anything. All performers work hard, it's well known as being a difficult business and makes her dedicated, but not unusual. You'd have to be dedicated to want to work in a business where futures are so uncertain and there is so much chance of failure.

Just my two pennies worth.
Quique

Hey, it's not BarkateerJenny's fault this forum has long had something against Eppie-Boppers. XD

I agree though in that the reaction to her casting is as baffling as the casting for the concert itself.

Um, yeeeeeeah that didn't make sense. *Goes away*
stelllar

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This is not about Samantha Barks. This is about the concept


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I have nothing particularly against the individuals who have been cast (though I can't say that many of them would have been my first choice for the roles), but i'm struggling to work out the motive of the casting directors


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it doesn’t matter if she turns out to be the best Eponine there has ever been, this is a concert celebrating the last 25 years and she hasn’t been a part of that (and the same goes for the other 3)


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It's not about her as a person. It's about, yet again, casting people who haven't played the roles


BarkateerJenny I suggest you stop trying to find offence against Samantha Barks, where none is intended. I think the majority of people here have nothing against her as an individual, and are not making personal attacks on her. In the main, people have been bemoaning the strange casting decisions for the concert as as a whole (as you can see above) because they are passionate about this production, and as such, have strong views about it.


The only reason that Samantha Barks' name has been mentioned recently, over others, is because she is the latest name to have been announced. I'm sure once the casting of Enjolras has been announced, there will be just as much discussion.

Stop trying to find victimisation where there is none. Sure people can get a bit passionate with their views, but most people here are still reasonable, and willing to give her a chance. I for one won't pass judgement on her personally until I have seen her in the show. However, this doesn't mean I can't still be dissapointed with Cammack's casting choices.
eponine5

I just wanted to say that I used to find all the casting for this concert very sad (not the specific performers, just in general), but now I've realised that it's a lot better if you just laugh. Come on, it's hilarious, especially when looking at the title of this thread and seeing that's it's still entirely appropriate to the conversation but that the overall meaning has totally changed since it was first created.

I think for me, the main reason why I've been so disappointed over this (I went from eagerly anticipating it for over a year to not buying tickets at all) is the fact that it has never been simply explained. The explanation about this being a different kind of celebration from the TAC and the 21st (ah I miss that) makes a lot of sense. Both of those really spoiled us as fans, and now that they're doing something so commercial and separated from the musical itself it kind of hurts. But if right from the beginning (or... ever?) they had stated that this was an 'all star' night bringing together celebrity performers/singers that just happened to use Les Mis as the material because it's the birthday, all of this confusion could have been avoided. Instead, many of the people excited for the concert because of the Les Mis aspect (including myself) seem to feel a bit cheated. We're obviously not the target market for this. This isn't the 25th anniversary celebration of Les Miserables - the tour is. And I feel better about the situation when I just think about it that way.

Sorry, that probably doesn't make much sense, but I just wanted to let out a bit of the rambling that was on my mind.
mm10

eponine5 wrote:
We're obviously not the target market for this. This isn't the 25th anniversary celebration of Les Miserables - the tour is.


That's because there isn't enough of us to fill the O2 (once - let alone twice)

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Their thinking in casting Sam Barks is probably not that she's an unknown and that's okay, it's that she's the current West End Eponine, and as such including her is a symbolic gesture of having a representative of the London cast there. They have more incentive to take someone from the current cast--a symbolic gesture that has nothing to do with celebrity status--than to randomly pick a past Eponine


The decision to cast Sam Barks isn't about representing the London cast - right from the start it was billed as including both the London and touring casts so they don't need to be represented. And OK I know that probably just means that they will come on at the end and take a bow but they will still be there. If Sam is supposed to be representing the London cast then shouldn't there be a representative from the touring cast? Why wasn't Gareth Gates cast as Marius if they are happy to cast reality stars?

Let's face it whoever was originally lined up can't do it for whatever reason and why should they waste time finding a replacement when most of the tickets are sold and they have an Eponine right there - that's what I object to.

But the money I spent on the ticket I will bloody well enjoy it if it kills me Laughing
Violet

I agree that they probably couldn't get their first choice, and Sam is (and no judgement on her) getting the job by default. Someone made the point elsewhere that she has already been in rehearsals with Nick and Camilla, which are arguably ongoing, and so this will cut down on the amount of rehearsal required in October.

By the way, and sorry if this has already been discussed, did anyone hear the interview with Cameron on Jonathon Ross's radio show? He asked about pop stars and musicals, and amongst other things Cameron was talking about Gareth Gates and how he was very good, but went on to emphasise how important it was that he wanted to do the part, and that it could only work if the pop star was in it for the right reasons and not just to further their career. I was wondering if he was drawing on recent experience of at least one sort of pop star who was toying with the idea of a stint in the show, but was keen to show off about it before he'd even got the part.

Not in the same category, but I also remember reading some time ago that Kimberley Walsh (Girls Aloud) had been hoping to be in a musical during their break, and if she might have been hoping to get a proper part this time around.
Elbow

Orestes Fasting wrote:


I am not telling you off like silly kids, I'm expressing my opinion, a right you seem to prize when people call you out on being nasty to other posters. It happens that by now my opinion includes a lot of exasperation about all the negativity surrounding the tour, the concert, the new cast, and basically anything that isn't the 09/10 cast. Before Sam Barks was cast it was "well why can't they at least get someone from the West End," and now that they've cast someone from the West End it's "well she's too new," and forgive me if I get the impression that all of this negativity--no matter how it's justified--stems from y'all trying to rationalize your butthurt that you got attached to a really good West End cast at the exact moment when Cameron Mackintosh, in his usual back-asswards fashion, decided he had bigger fish to fry than the London production. Forgive me if I get the impression that this is not about the London production as a whole, it's about the feelings provoked by the 09/10 cast, and that's why I referred to Nancy.

Their thinking in casting Sam Barks is probably not that she's an unknown and that's okay, it's that she's the current West End Eponine, and as such including her is a symbolic gesture of having a representative of the London cast there. They have more incentive to take someone from the current cast--a symbolic gesture that has nothing to do with celebrity status--than to randomly pick a past Eponine. Which is why I think all this stuff about Sam Barks not deserving to be in the concert is bull. She's not just an unknown or a C-grade celebrity, at this point she's a 100% legit cast member, she was probably chosen for that more than anything else, and she'll have been doing eight shows a week for four months when the concert rolls around. I am not saying there are no better choices they could've made, or denying that the casting for this concert is cracked, but they seem to be trying to reach for every market imaginable in the casting and making bizarre choices for each one, and the fact that they picked an unknown from the current London cast doesn't mean they were open to the idea of picking mostly London unknowns or fan favorites. It means they tried to reach out to one more market, and had no idea the London fans were so overprotective that they'd bristle at getting stuck with the new Eponine instead of one of the former ones, or that you apparently think of Sam Barks not as a cast member but as some interloper from reality TV.


I'm going to chime in here. I don't usually get involved but I'm feeling very sad about how people seem to view the London regulars. As someone who has been lucky enough to see Les Miserables a large amount of times over the last two years, and yes, in doing that I have become quite attached to recent casts in London, I feel that recently people have a lowered opinion of us because we've grown fond of certain cast members performances. But really, isn't that only natural? I am the first to admit that I can be a bit bias when it comes to portrayals of certain characters in Les Mis, and if it was down to me a more modern dream cast would be made up of cast members of the last three years. However, that doesn't mean that if different people were cast I'd feel short-changed, or that casts that I've seen "deserve" it more (and I used the speech marks, because I'm not liking this use of the word deserve in this context) because, as everybody has already argued out in pervious threads no one is going to get their dream cast. However, it would have been nice if perhaps a bit more thought had been put into getting a great cast for the 25th anniversary, and less thought put into the money making aspect. The issue here is with the completely bizarre casting. The assumption that the London regulars hold negativity towards anybody who isn't the 09/10 is completely wrong.

Personally, I have no negativity towards the concert itself, I simply feel it has been dealt with in completely the wrong way. To use a terrible metaphor here, it's like someone has had a birthday party and rather than inviting their close friends who have stuck by them throughout the years and they get on with, they have invited their cool new friends that they have nothing in common with and don't know that well. It would have been a nice gesture to perhaps had a couple of leads that were well liked cast members of the last 10 years or so, that had made valued contributions over the years. Whether, for example, that be David Thaxton or Ramin Karimloo wouldn't have bothered me (although again, I'll admit that I would have prefered Thaxton, but, that's my personal choice and I wouldn't have felt short-changed if it wasn't him.) and while it is nice that we will have a current cast member involved it seems like a very strange choice when they had obviously decided to cast her before she had done a single show as Eponine. Personally, I quite enjoyed her performance when I saw her last week, but that isn't the point at all here.

Again, I'll admit that I am negative about the tour. The reasons are all written about in the tour thread. I didn't like the tour. It is as simple as that. The cast are doubtlessly talented and I adore Earl Carpenter, but for me it completely lost the Les Miserables vibe and I didn't feel the ensemble worked that well together. However, it had nothing to do with it not being the London production. I also saw a completely different production of the show in Switzerland last year which I enjoyed a lot, and that was nothing like the London production but it was very well done and I really enjoyed it.

As for having negativity towards the new cast... my feelings couldn't be more different! Also, I'll point out that I loved the 08/09 cast (granted, a lot of them stayed on) and it took me a while to get used to the 09/10 cast but I certainly wasn't negative about them. And the new cast, my feelings towards them are totally the same, yes it'll take me a while to get used to them but for their first week, I'd say they're doing a grand job! I won't go into it, since I did an epically long post about them in the 10/11 cast thread, but most of what I wrote certainly wasn't negative. Yes, comparisons were drawn between them and the old cast, but only to put the statements I was making into context.

The fact is, that like it or not the London production is my, and a lot of other people's, favourite productions of Les Miserables and because of all the change that has come about recently, we feel a tad protective over it and (possibly selfishly) want it to remain the same. We know everything about the London production inside out, notice the tiny things and have our favourites. It seems ridiculous, yes and people certainly interpret us wrongly because we know it so well, but nobody is actually professing that this cast is better than all the rest and that they should be in the 25th anniversary. Only that it would be nice if some of the stronger cast members had at least been considered, since their performances were so solid. I understand one or two big names to draw in the masses, but what we’ve been left with now is a very strange line up that doesn’t seem to make sense. I know things have changed in a lot of senses since the 10th anniversary, and things had to be different, but the 10th anniversary... almost everyone was there for a reason, the cast was made up of the very people who had kept Les Mis going for the last 10 years, where as this is made up of a strange sort of mish-mash of people, and to me, that just isn't what the show is about. And this is where the problem lies with me. Nothing to do with people "not deserving" to be cast or feeling betrayed that our precious David Thaxton isn't cast. It's about the broader picture, because funnily enough we are not so short sighted as to think that "our" cast is the be all and end all.
l'ivrogne transfiguré

Elbow wrote:
I'm going to chime in here. I don't usually get involved but I'm feeling very sad about how people seem to view the London regulars. As someone who has been lucky enough to see Les Miserables a large amount of times over the last two years, and yes, in doing that I have become quite attached to recent casts in London, I feel that recently people have a lowered opinion of us because we've grown fond of certain cast members performances. But really, isn't that only natural? I am the first to admit that I can be a bit bias when it comes to portrayals of certain characters in Les Mis, and if it was down to me a more modern dream cast would be made up of cast members of the last three years. However, that doesn't mean that if different people were cast I'd feel short-changed, or that casts that I've seen "deserve" it more (and I used the speech marks, because I'm not liking this use of the word deserve in this context) because, as everybody has already argued out in pervious threads no one is going to get their dream cast. However, it would have been nice if perhaps a bit more thought had been put into getting a great cast for the 25th anniversary, and less thought put into the money making aspect. The issue here is with the completely bizarre casting. The assumption that the London regulars hold negativity towards anybody who isn't the 09/10 is completely wrong.

Personally, I have no negativity towards the concert itself, I simply feel it has been dealt with in completely the wrong way. To use a terrible metaphor here, it's like someone has had a birthday party and rather than inviting their close friends who have stuck by them throughout the years and they get on with, they have invited their cool new friends that they have nothing in common with and don't know that well. It would have been a nice gesture to perhaps had a couple of leads that were well liked cast members of the last 10 years or so, that had made valued contributions over the years. Whether, for example, that be David Thaxton or Ramin Karimloo wouldn't have bothered me (although again, I'll admit that I would have prefered Thaxton, but, that's my personal choice and I wouldn't have felt short-changed if it wasn't him.) and while it is nice that we will have a current cast member involved it seems like a very strange choice when they had obviously decided to cast her before she had done a single show as Eponine. Personally, I quite enjoyed her performance when I saw her last week, but that isn't the point at all here.

Again, I'll admit that I am negative about the tour. The reasons are all written about in the tour thread. I didn't like the tour. It is as simple as that. The cast are doubtlessly talented and I adore Earl Carpenter, but for me it completely lost the Les Miserables vibe and I didn't feel the ensemble worked that well together. However, it had nothing to do with it not being the London production. I also saw a completely different production of the show in Switzerland last year which I enjoyed a lot, and that was nothing like the London production but it was very well done and I really enjoyed it.

As for having negativity towards the new cast... my feelings couldn't be more different! Also, I'll point out that I loved the 08/09 cast (granted, a lot of them stayed on) and it took me a while to get used to the 09/10 cast but I certainly wasn't negative about them. And the new cast, my feelings towards them are totally the same, yes it'll take me a while to get used to them but for their first week, I'd say they're doing a grand job! I won't go into it, since I did an epically long post about them in the 10/11 cast thread, but most of what I wrote certainly wasn't negative. Yes, comparisons were drawn between them and the old cast, but only to put the statements I was making into context.

The fact is, that like it or not the London production is my, and a lot of other people's, favourite productions of Les Miserables and because of all the change that has come about recently, we feel a tad protective over it and (possibly selfishly) want it to remain the same. We know everything about the London production inside out, notice the tiny things and have our favourites. It seems ridiculous, yes and people certainly interpret us wrongly because we know it so well, but nobody is actually professing that this cast is better than all the rest and that they should be in the 25th anniversary. Only that it would be nice if some of the stronger cast members had at least been considered, since their performances were so solid. I understand one or two big names to draw in the masses, but what we’ve been left with now is a very strange line up that doesn’t seem to make sense. I know things have changed in a lot of senses since the 10th anniversary, and things had to be different, but the 10th anniversary... almost everyone was there for a reason, the cast was made up of the very people who had kept Les Mis going for the last 10 years, where as this is made up of a strange sort of mish-mash of people, and to me, that just isn't what the show is about. And this is where the problem lies with me. Nothing to do with people "not deserving" to be cast or feeling betrayed that our precious David Thaxton isn't cast. It's about the broader picture, because funnily enough we are not so short sighted as to think that "our" cast is the be all and end all.


This.

And there's a difference between being biased, which I am sure all of us regulars probably are, and not being open-minded. I understand that the non-regulars come from a different standpoint, so I would not wish to criticise your opinion. But I would prefer it if our reactions weren't completely dismissed as knee-jerk. We do put thought into our opinions as much as anyone else, and I think it's fair to ask for a little understanding in return. Different people have different backgrounds and different experiences of the show, which is naturally going to lead to a diversity of opinion. This diversity should be cherished, not hacked to pieces by argument.
Orestes Fasting

I get being biased and having a favorite production. Truly I do. It seems I still can't make a post without mentioning the Broadway revival, because I loved it in all its bizarre drama-tastic glory and I'm still biased towards it. But some of the behavior I've seen surrounding the London cast still makes me extremely uncomfortable. The closing of ranks around certain opinions, the bullying, the policing of others' behavior both on the forums and at the stage door, a certain tendency to ignore the show's history beyond extremely recent London casts, a tendency towards overprotectiveness--it has sort of set the London regulars apart from the rest of the fans, and it makes me sad to see us divided. Of course there are differences within the London fans and no one person is guilty of all of this, and these things taken separately wouldn't be a huge problem, but there is a culture that's sprung up among the London fans and it is exclusionary, whether that's intentional or not.

And the closing of ranks around certain opinions has been remarkably unanimous, even down to which 09/10 performers were liked and disliked, to say nothing of the general vitriol directed at the tour. It is disquieting, and I have started to get cynical whenever I read something along the lines of "I tried to go into this with an open mind and not let general opinion influence what I thought of X," and then what follows just so happens to hew exactly to the common opinion. It has started to look less like subjective favoritism and more like a neverending string of excuses and rationalizations for why everything that is not "West End enough" sucks. And maybe people aren't hoping directly that, say, David Thaxton gets cast in the concert and anything less is sacrilege, but indirecty the 09/10 cast (or the favorite cast members and understudies from that and the 08/09 cast) has become the yardstick for what's "West End enough" and therefore valuable. And that is an extremely narrow view of what Les Mis should be, no matter how good the recent casts have been. It's fine to have a soft spot for your favorite cast, but there's no shortage of, erm, documentation of previous casts from all around the world to get a sense of the wider variety of valid (and hilariously invalid) ways to do the show. The claustrophobic focus on the past year's West End cast is one of the things that feels exclusionary to me; it's as though comparing to past casts or other productions is seen as snooty or lording one's longer experience in the fandom over everyone else, ditto having any experience with Cameron Mackintosh's usually disastrous attempts to change the show's direction. In reality it's a perfectly natural desire to compare and bring a different perspective on things, but I can't help but feel that a different perspective is unwanted here.
Quique

As much as it sounds as if Orestes is bashing you guys, she isn't. Neither am I.

NOBODY is more biased towards the original production than me. I'm downright crazy about it. I used to build miniature versions of Napier's set and play with them as a child!

But I absolutely agree that there is unwanted tension. And not the normal, acceptable kind like when two members respectfully disagree and discuss their points of view. There just seems to be a lot of scolding-an-ignorant-5-year-like exchanges on here lately...over minor things. And a general "YOU'RE WRONG" attitude toward certain members that might as well paint targets on their foreheads, as that's how they're treated sometimes.

It's one thing to feel passionate about something within reason but when people start to use the term "pop/reality star" like it's some derogatory term, you know there's something off.
MSam

I love the birthday party metaphor. Everyone is throwing around great points here (Orestes Fasting, are you from the UK? I'm loving all your colloquialism!). All I'm saying is, all the rest of the cast is celebrity/reknown, and then there is the random Eponine. Oh well, I'm over it - October we'll discover what our god in heaven has in store for the performance.

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and to be honest, if Sam wasn't in Les Mis i wouldn't care about the show or the concert anyway, let alone whether the london cast were being represented in it.

Ugh. PLEASE STOP SAYING THAT. Sad
Eppie-Sue

Orestes Fasting wrote:
the policing of others' behavior both on the forums and at the stage door

What on earth does the stage door have to do with this? Is it the rule that we don't stand right next to the door and point out on the forums that there are people that intrude by stopping performers without taking note of whether they want it or not, that interrupt private conversations and that act too tactile by throwing their arms around them? Because that's the only thing I remember criticising, and I am absolutely certain that this is in line with what the cast thinks and what is socially accpetable, and I'll gladly criticise anyone who acts like that without feeling like I'm being patronising. And I think for someone to come in a few times a year and say that we're "policing" others' behaviour is a bit strange.

And I'm very grateful for Elbow's post and what l'ivrogne said. It's easy for everyone to not pay great attention to what we really post. I'm probably the most attached to the 09/10 cast, but I've never claimed they're a particularly strong cast, quite the opposite, and I like to think that I'm quite aware of performers that came before. When I put up favourite casts, I can't help but include many 09/10 people, mainly because I'm not qualified to judge the previous casts on the same basis, but nevertheless, there is no point at which any of us claimed that the 09/10 cast represented the West End Les Mis of the last 25 years, and there isn't a moment where you honestly could have gotten that feeling. The only reason why it has become one of the main topics is that it has been the most recent cast, and that's pure LOGIC.
I get the impression that it's a lazy way of putting opinions down, and I am constantly getting that impression, so when Quique says that no one is "bashing" us, I feel ridiculous because, well, that is the only impression these kinds of posts are making: "You don't want to accept anything else", "You only like Thaxton", "Youre too biased to see anything beyond the 09/10 cast", "Stop acting like you know what's right and wrong at the stage door". Most of the posts that have been made by regulars on the basis of the new cast, the tour and the concert have been founded on arguments that had nothing to do with the 09/10 cast and were criticising the commercialism, the direction of the tour (and that with actual, real arguments, believe it or not), the recycling of performers, etc., and yet it's just being dismissed as bias. I'm so sick of it. We have to try extra hard for you people to not come in, pick out one part of one sentence and go "You're just biased!", and that is unfair, patronising and insults anyone's intelligence. It is not that easy, and there is a line between what we know better simply because we're regulars (stage door, cast information, background information) and will insist on, and what we have an opinion on. And just as a note, most posts we make on this include a "I think" and lots of argumentation, and to accuse us of claiming that we know all about what "Les Mis should be" is just plainly wrong. At the same time, it doesn't help that always the same people are being attacked, no matter how hard they try, and that always the same points are brought up and unreasonably so, combined with posts that tell us to stop making these points, to stop "shoving our opinion down people's throats", stating that we ignore the show's history. Um, we don't. We look at the show's history and say: "That was a great history, those were great 25 years, we don't want to see it being treated like this, we think that the casting has been off at places, but overall, it has always been Les Mis, we would like to see some acknowledgement of that from the production team, and we don't want to hear that things have changed and that everyone who accepts that is right and everyone who doesn't needs to shut up."

ETA: I also can't help but think that one source of the criticism is that most of us regulars only appeared with the 08/09 or 09/10 cast, and are therefore only seen as 08/09/10 people, that only like this about Les Mis, etc. This is not true, and I do think we put great emphasis on that in explanations and arguments. We all have been Les Mis fans for ages, in some cases have always been because we grew up with it. Just because we haven't physically been around before or didn't have the chance to be around for earlier casts or other productions doesn't make our opinion any less valid.
Elbow

Orestes Fasting wrote:
I get being biased and having a favorite production. Truly I do. It seems I still can't make a post without mentioning the Broadway revival, because I loved it in all its bizarre drama-tastic glory and I'm still biased towards it. But some of the behavior I've seen surrounding the London cast still makes me extremely uncomfortable. The closing of ranks around certain opinions, the bullying, the policing of others' behavior both on the forums and at the stage door, a certain tendency to ignore the show's history beyond extremely recent London casts, a tendency towards overprotectiveness--it has sort of set the London regulars apart from the rest of the fans, and it makes me sad to see us divided. Of course there are differences within the London fans and no one person is guilty of all of this, and these things taken separately wouldn't be a huge problem, but there is a culture that's sprung up among the London fans and it is exclusionary, whether that's intentional or not.

And the closing of ranks around certain opinions has been remarkably unanimous, even down to which 09/10 performers were liked and disliked, to say nothing of the general vitriol directed at the tour. It is disquieting, and I have started to get cynical whenever I read something along the lines of "I tried to go into this with an open mind and not let general opinion influence what I thought of X," and then what follows just so happens to hew exactly to the common opinion. It has started to look less like subjective favoritism and more like a neverending string of excuses and rationalizations for why everything that is not "West End enough" sucks. And maybe people aren't hoping directly that, say, David Thaxton gets cast in the concert and anything less is sacrilege, but indirecty the 09/10 cast (or the favorite cast members and understudies from that and the 08/09 cast) has become the yardstick for what's "West End enough" and therefore valuable. And that is an extremely narrow view of what Les Mis should be, no matter how good the recent casts have been. It's fine to have a soft spot for your favorite cast, but there's no shortage of, erm, documentation of previous casts from all around the world to get a sense of the wider variety of valid (and hilariously invalid) ways to do the show. The claustrophobic focus on the past year's West End cast is one of the things that feels exclusionary to me; it's as though comparing to past casts or other productions is seen as snooty or lording one's longer experience in the fandom over everyone else, ditto having any experience with Cameron Mackintosh's usually disastrous attempts to change the show's direction. In reality it's a perfectly natural desire to compare and bring a different perspective on things, but I can't help but feel that a different perspective is unwanted here.


So basically... You've just made the same post as you made before but re-worded it? Crikey. In my post I admitted my own bias, the fact that I can maybe be a bit protective and said where my negativity lies... and yet you have basically taken no notice of that and are still telling me that I (and others) don't accept anything that isn't the London production and the 09/10 cast, which is ridiculous because surely I know what I accept and what I don't better than you.

I am actually extremely sorry if my posts personally have come through as though the 09/10 cast are the best thing since sliced bread, but I think you are confusing adoration with the fact that we write about them a lot and see them a lot. I have been a fan of the show since I was very small and had always tried to see the show about once a year, but then when I moved to London realised I could see it a whole lot more and it has become a favourite hobby of mine since.

Also, since what I wrote seems to have gone over your head and that you appear to have read into my previous post things that I didn't write, do you perhaps think that maybe you do that with some of our other posts? Read in to them that we adore "our" cast and think they can do no wrong when in fact we haven't written that at all? Just a thought.
Quique

I don't think anyone really has a problem with how you or anyone else feels about a cast, your opinions about them, and so on. I know I don't. We'd be sufficiently schizo if we enjoyed reading your reviews and simultaneously hated you for it.
Eppie-Sue

No, the problem is that "You are regulars of the 09/10 cast" is used to put our opinions on anything else Les Mis related down, deciding that we're too biased to actually put any effort into reading what we really have to say, how we explain it, and take into consideration that while the 09/10 cast has been the most prominent in terms of coverage, logically, it is not an excuse to ignore our views and argumentation on anything else or to dismiss them. Which is exactly what is being done. When we bring them up in other topics it's to compare, because we're familiar, but we don't judge other things in a certain way because of any specific cast. It's easy to see us as fans of Just This Cast or to interpret things like that in order to serve your own perspective, but it's also unfair and definitely not based on all the work we put into explaining our views on all the other topics, especially when it's obvious that often, eplies are made without any relevance to the actual issue or the facts that have so far been presented in the thread, appearing ever so slightly out of context, giving the impression that some people just come in to read through the last page or skim the last few posts, and act as Mods while only representing their own views, in the vast majority of cases against us, claiming that they feel we're not trying to see anyone else's point.
Yes, we have a favourite cast, naturally, and we do feel protective of people that we know personally in instances like personal insults, irrational criticism or stage door behaviour, but we are not some crazy fangirls who only see one truth. And come to think of it, yes, the impression of "Well, it's nice to have people there who write reviews, but I don't think their reviews are founded on anything but fangirling and I don't take them seriously when it comes to anything else" is pretty evident - not from your side Quique, not from just one person's side in general, but from many people at different times. It's pure prejudice, and it often comes across as "Stop saying what you think is right IT IS NOT RIGHT BECAUSE I SAY SO. SHUT UP."
Orestes Fasting

Elbow wrote:
Orestes Fasting wrote:
I get being biased and having a favorite production. Truly I do. It seems I still can't make a post without mentioning the Broadway revival, because I loved it in all its bizarre drama-tastic glory and I'm still biased towards it. But some of the behavior I've seen surrounding the London cast still makes me extremely uncomfortable. The closing of ranks around certain opinions, the bullying, the policing of others' behavior both on the forums and at the stage door, a certain tendency to ignore the show's history beyond extremely recent London casts, a tendency towards overprotectiveness--it has sort of set the London regulars apart from the rest of the fans, and it makes me sad to see us divided. Of course there are differences within the London fans and no one person is guilty of all of this, and these things taken separately wouldn't be a huge problem, but there is a culture that's sprung up among the London fans and it is exclusionary, whether that's intentional or not.

And the closing of ranks around certain opinions has been remarkably unanimous, even down to which 09/10 performers were liked and disliked, to say nothing of the general vitriol directed at the tour. It is disquieting, and I have started to get cynical whenever I read something along the lines of "I tried to go into this with an open mind and not let general opinion influence what I thought of X," and then what follows just so happens to hew exactly to the common opinion. It has started to look less like subjective favoritism and more like a neverending string of excuses and rationalizations for why everything that is not "West End enough" sucks. And maybe people aren't hoping directly that, say, David Thaxton gets cast in the concert and anything less is sacrilege, but indirecty the 09/10 cast (or the favorite cast members and understudies from that and the 08/09 cast) has become the yardstick for what's "West End enough" and therefore valuable. And that is an extremely narrow view of what Les Mis should be, no matter how good the recent casts have been. It's fine to have a soft spot for your favorite cast, but there's no shortage of, erm, documentation of previous casts from all around the world to get a sense of the wider variety of valid (and hilariously invalid) ways to do the show. The claustrophobic focus on the past year's West End cast is one of the things that feels exclusionary to me; it's as though comparing to past casts or other productions is seen as snooty or lording one's longer experience in the fandom over everyone else, ditto having any experience with Cameron Mackintosh's usually disastrous attempts to change the show's direction. In reality it's a perfectly natural desire to compare and bring a different perspective on things, but I can't help but feel that a different perspective is unwanted here.


So basically... You've just made the same post as you made before but re-worded it? Crikey. In my post I admitted my own bias, the fact that I can maybe be a bit protective and said where my negativity lies... and yet you have basically taken no notice of that and are still telling me that I (and others) don't accept anything that isn't the London production and the 09/10 cast, which is ridiculous because surely I know what I accept and what I don't better than you.

I am actually extremely sorry if my posts personally have come through as though the 09/10 cast are the best thing since sliced bread, but I think you are confusing adoration with the fact that we write about them a lot and see them a lot. I have been a fan of the show since I was very small and had always tried to see the show about once a year, but then when I moved to London realised I could see it a whole lot more and it has become a favourite hobby of mine since.

Also, since what I wrote seems to have gone over your head and that you appear to have read into my previous post things that I didn't write, do you perhaps think that maybe you do that with some of our other posts? Read in to them that we adore "our" cast and think they can do no wrong when in fact we haven't written that at all? Just a thought.


Thing is I'm not talking about any one person's posts personally, because individually you are all lovely people. I'm talking about the culture that seems to have collectively sprung up here and the impression it gives off, which may not be anyone's actual intent but is sure as heck noticeable, especially to those outside the group.

I admit that, yeah, part of it is sheer volume, and it sometimes makes my eyes cross to come here and see three new pages of discussion of a production I can't see very often and everything else getting ignored, and the sheer volume is neither you guys' fault nor really a problem. And I'm sorry if I let that contribute to my impressions of the London fans--I follow as much as I can, read even if I'm not posting, sometimes let a few pages slip by if I'm not feeling up to it, and usually it's good fun. But when one of the problems I mentioned in the other post comes up (and I listed them because they're all things I've seen on the board, whether intentional or not) and I feel the need to post, I'm probably guilty of mentally adding "and nobody talks about anything but the effing London cast anymore" to the list, which is not particularly fair to you guys because it's what's there to talk about.

However, part of the reason my opinion isn't changing much here is that I'm writing from the perspective of a non-London-regular with an outsider's view on what the board has become. And while I know you try to be welcoming and that most of you are interested in the history of the show beyond recent casts--you know your own heads better than I do, as you said--I feel like I can't go "er, come on, Les Mis has had stunt casting all the time before and it sucks but it's never permanently changed the culture of the show" without having some very rude things said to me. The impression of hostility towards anything less recent is not based on pie-in-the-sky theories of what's going on in everyone's heads, but on real threads and real posts when an oldbie comes in with a longer perspective and gets ignored or accused of elitism or worse.
Eponines_Hat

Eppie-Sue wrote:


We look at the show's history and say: "That was a great history, those were great 25 years, we don't want to see it being treated like this, we think that the casting has been off at places, but overall, it has always been Les Mis, we would like to see some acknowledgement of that from the production team,



Absolutely. A lot of the criticism I have - and many Miz fans on here seem to have - is precisely this. I can understand that Cammack might feel that after 25 years he needs to keep Les Miz fresh... I just think his way of going about it is completely ass-over-head. Les Mis has been around for longer than most of us have been alive (or at least close to) and that is the testimony to it being a classic. I feel like Cammack should have more faith in his production and realise that he doesn't need to whore the show out to a bunch of celebrities (loved the party analogy mentioned earlier - its spot on IMO). He might not realise this - but the current show still fills the Queens theatre 8 shows a week (rarely a spare seat in house.) This doesn't mean there can't be changes - but it feels like the current commercialization of the show (with the tour, concert -and yes - even some of the W End casting over the years) shows a lack of faith in Miz standing up on its own merits.

Oh, and for what it is worth - I recall Eppie-Sue posting a "dream cast" on here a while back and I am pretty sure that there was only one or two 08/09/10 London Cast on there. To say she isn't aware of the history of the show seems quite unfair.
Quique

I've gone out of my way to defend Eppie-Sue in the past and rationalize her motives and I've been more than understanding, which proves I'm not nor ever have been dismissive. And I've never displayed an elitist, know-it-all attitude toward anyone. I doubt anyone was specifically referring to me but considering I'm one of only two regular posters who's got a decade over most of y'all...Grrr.
riverdawn

At this point, I don't know if I constitute one of the "London Regulars" or not, or what exactly is my position here....

but I have to say that the constant bickering that has been going on here the last few weeks has been pretty, well, exhausting.

Honestly, I think it would be helpful if everyone just realized that no one is deliberately trying to offend, upset or exclude anyone else.

And as I've said before, this forum does have a "private message" function, so that if you feel as though someone has done something inappropriate, the correct way to handle it is often to send them a polite private message pointing out the issue, instead of opening it up to a grand debate in the forum.
beyondthebarricade

riverdawn wrote:
And as I've said before, this forum does have a "private message" function, so that if you feel as though someone has done something inappropriate, the correct way to handle it is often to send them a polite private message pointing out the issue, instead of opening it up to a grand debate in the forum.

I don't know how many times riverdawn has pointed this out, but I feel the need to highlight this as every single topic has become a great debate arena, which is completely unnessecary, and also quite, as she said, exhausting to see such long posts and defences and attacks. I think that these arguments are just an expression of exasperation because of the ongoing events in the past few weeks, and as things don't come across well online, some may misread it and the whole matter gets blown up, as seen too many times. Frankly, I'm quite sick of this whole thing.
Elbow

It has gone to PM. That's why this page hasn't been updated in a while...
The Pirate King

I'm going to be in England in late September-December, but I'm passing on this concert...if it was an all-star cast of any sorts I'd be there in a heartbeat, but this is so disappointing.

Having never seen an "official" production of the show, which would you suggest...seeing the original West End production, or seeing it at the Barbican? Keep in mind I might be able to see the new production back here in the States.

EDIT: Just saw that JOJ is still in the tour...will definitely be trying to see it at the Barbican, then...who knows if he'll still be around when the tour hits the US.
Orestes Fasting

The Pirate King wrote:
I'm going to be in England in late September-December, but I'm passing on this concert...if it was an all-star cast of any sorts I'd be there in a heartbeat, but this is so disappointing.

Having never seen an "official" production of the show, which would you suggest...seeing the original West End production, or seeing it at the Barbican? Keep in mind I might be able to see the new production back here in the States.

EDIT: Just saw that JOJ is still in the tour...will definitely be trying to see it at the Barbican, then...who knows if he'll still be around when the tour hits the US.


I'd say try to see the original first, then go see the tour/Barbican version, because IMO having seen the original will make you appreciate the tour more. Not that the tour is better, just that that's the order to see them in--the original stands on its own, the tour is a reimagining of the original. I mean, the tour still makes sense and all if you haven't seen the original, but you'll be able to better appreciate why they do some of the things they did.

Also because I don't know when the original will next be playing outside of London. One of the reasons they designed the tour seems to have been so they'd have a version that's easier to take on the road, so I predict that most of the new productions to open in the next few years will be Cammack & co playing with their new shiny toy.

JOJ seems to be the new Michael McCarthy, so I'm sure you'll get a chance to see him sometime. Whereas replica versions of the original might be thin on the ground in the next few years. So go see the original in London, see the tour at the Barbican if you get a chance, and if you can't, don't sweat it and wait for it to come to the US.
MizzieFan

Okay, this has just been posted 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

We already knew about Samantha and Karimloo .. was predictable.
flying_pigs

According to What's On Stage, Ramin is playing Enjolras.

https://twitter.com/Whatsonstage
mm10

Quite please about Ramin. Just wonder why they waited to announce it since he said he's known for a while but couldn't say. Why didn't they announce him and Sam together?

Also good to hear that Michael Ball will be involved according to discussion on WOS (but more importantly straight from the horse's mouth). Just wish the interviewer quized him a bit more about it when he mentioned it - she's obviously not a Les Mis fan!
Quique

Does anyone know if this is going to be filmed or recorded?
flying_pigs

Knowing CamMack probably both, I mean, why waste the chance to make even more money?
Roseinmisery

Even in the unlikely event of that not happening, God knows how many fans will record it illegally.
Eponines_Hat

MizzieFan wrote:
Okay, this has just been posted on WOS's twitter:
.... Nick Jonas extends in West End.



Where does this leave Brammer? I'd be rather offended if I were him.....
PureDiamondLight

Eponines_Hat wrote:
MizzieFan wrote:
Okay, this has just been posted on WOS's twitter:
.... Nick Jonas extends in West End.



Where does this leave Brammer? I'd be rather offended if I were him.....


I know... this whole things just seems a little unfair on him and the other actual cast members.
santsprz

I know this has nothing to do with the concert, but, I heard somewhere that there was going to be a 25th Anniversary Tour Cast Recording, it was supposed to be released this month, but we should have had an actual release date by now, does anyone know if this is true, and if it is, when is it going to be released? thanks
hazellwood

santsprz wrote:
I know this has nothing to do with the concert, but, I heard somewhere that there was going to be a 25th Anniversary Tour Cast Recording, it was supposed to be released this month, but we should have had an actual release date by now, does anyone know if this is true, and if it is, when is it going to be released? thanks


You probably should have asked this in the info thread.

According to the Facebook group, there will be a cast recording released, but there is no date yet. It's changed a lot.
Violet

They are supposed to be making an announcement about it tomorrow.
hazellwood

And an announcement has been made!

"New Cast Recording News!! As promised, we have an update for you today. The new Cast recording will at first be on sale at the Bristol Hippodrome only from Thu 15 July, the press night. The CD will shortly be available to buy at stores Nationwide as well as for download on iTunes and other platforms. As soon as we have these dates, they will be posted here immediately."

I can't give you an exact link, but it's on the Facebook page.
The Very Angry Woman

JOJ also tweeted it: http://twitter.com/johnowenjones/statuses/18133722108

Also, if you click the time and date that a FB status was posted, you can get a direct link.
Vanessa20

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
coast_in

Now I need to figure out how to get to Bristol next Thursday!
.....could be expensive from Canada
Wink
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