Sunday 3 November 2019

Les Misérables Mayflower Theatre

Cameron Mackintosh's Les Misérables arrived in Southampton to much excitement this week as it enjoys another run at Mayflower Theatre. The critically acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg's musical based on the book by Victor Hugo has been watched by 120 million people across 52 countries and in 22 languages. It is legendary and one I was so very excited to finally sit down and experience for myself. 

The show was re-staged almost ten years ago and has been hailed as the 21st Century Les Mis thanks to its impressive projections, moving stage props and fast-paced direction. I've never read or watched Les Misérables before so I went in with completely fresh eyes and I'm so glad because I was completely blown away. 

Set in early 19th-century France, Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant, and his desire for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister's starving child. Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew after a bishop inspires him by a tremendous act of mercy, but he is relentlessly tracked down by a police inspector named Javert. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealists attempt to overthrow the government at a street barricade.

The two central characters, Jean Valjean and Javert were both played by absolute powerhouses! 

Killian Donnelly took the part of Valjean to unbelievable heights with such a strong presence and incredible voice. I could listen to Killian sing for hours and I found myself mesmerised by the way he held the stage. I warmed to his character quite quickly and had a tear in my eye in those final scenes. 

He was just brilliant and together with Nic Greenshields who played the part of Javert they made a beautiful pairing. The cat and mouse chase over the years almost created a warm spot for one another and their musical numbers were something to be admired. Nic's final scene was upsetting but beautiful and the stage scenary during that moment was breathtaking. 

Fantine was a character I wanted to wrap up in cottonwool. Played by Katie Hall, she really made you feel emotional over the struggle Fantine was facing up until her untimely death. The best moment for me was when she sung I Dreamed a Dream. It's a song I've loved for so long and she nailed it. 

It was just absolutely sensational. 

The one thing I loved the most throughout the production was the cinematic movement of the stage. It was incredible and the way we were taken from scene to scene was seamless. It was some of the best staging I've ever seen in years and you almost forgot where you were. It was so immersive. 

I adored Les Misérables much more than I thought I would and I found it much easier to follow considering I didn't know the book at all and I've already saved the film to watch over the next week.

I just really truly enjoyed the show so much and I'm not ready to let go just yet.

I'd watch it again in a heartbeat!

The show will be at Mayflower Theatre until 23rd November, there are limited tickets available and you can purchase yours from or by phoning the box office on 02380 711811. 

It's an unmissable show and one you'll be talking about for years to come. 

Press tickets for the purpose of review - see disclaimer
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