Les Miserables at Sondheim Theatre

Les Miserables is one of these shows that seems to have been around forever, and whilst I have a vague recollection of seeing it many moons ago I had been telling myself for many years that I needed to take a return trip to the barricades. The new cast and updated version gave me the push I needed and I finally found myself back to see this classic show.

The moment the 14 piece orchestra strike up their first chords you can tell that you are in for a special performance. The orchestration is incredibly rich and hearing those familiar refrains live sends shivers down my spine. Combining this beautiful orchestration and celebrated music with this current cast however means that the show is in a league of it’s own.

Whilst the entire cast was jam packed full of exceptional performers there were 2 stand out characters. The first of these is Jon Robyns who plays Jean Valjean. Each of his solo moments such as Soliloquy, Who Am I and Bring Him Home were emotionally charged and left me marvelling at his vocal ability. He portrayed a huge amount of love for Cosette, played by Lily Kerhoas as well as a calm sense of stoicism.

The other incredible performance delivered during Les Miserables was by Bradley Jaden as Jarvet. He had previously played Enjolras but this time he returns as the Policeman hunting down prisoner number 24601. His version of Stars was one of the standout moments of the show and his Jarvert shows a huge amount of gravitas in the role.

Many die hard Les Miserables fans are concerned about the new staging and in particular the loss of the revolve but watching the show it never felt lacking. The developments in West End staging since Les Miserables was first staged were used to perfection. The projections really helped ensure a sense of place and the loss of the revolve meant that one could focus on the drama unfolding and the grit on display rather than staring in awe at the staging. The show feels darker and a bit more mature with this restaging whilst ensuring it stays true to the roots that cause Les Miserables to be such as success.

Whilst Les Miserables has now been running in London’s West End for 35 years, due to the talent and the incredible score that you see on stage at the Sondheim Theatre I can’t see this production going anywhere for another 35 years….. question is where can I book my tickets for the 70th anniversary show?

To find out more about the show and book tickets visit their website.

If you like this review you might also like my review of Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away and Hamilton. You might also like my article on who sings Bring Him Home the best!

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