Review: Les Miserables

Les Miserables (Music Theatre)

Cameron Mackintosh

Fast-paced and driven with intensity, the Cameron Mackintosh production of Les Miserables follows faithfully with the Victor Hugo classic. Featuring an array of Western Australian talent, WAAPA graduates Lara Mulcahy (Madame Thénardier), Kerrie Anne Greenland (Éponine) and Emily Langridge (Cosette), all gave stellar performances, minus some minor fumbling by Langridge in her early scenes. Jean Valjean (Simon Gleeson) had so much energy it was almost as if he was going to spontaneously combust into a handsome ball of fiery brilliance. However, whilst the show was predominantly vigorous and the cast, for the most part, exceptional, the performances by Euan Doidge (Marius) and Patrice Tipoki (Fantine) were a little under-whelming. Tipoki’s rendition of the iconic ‘I dreamed a dream’ seemed to be building to something it didn’t quite get to, and Doidge just kind of all-round sucked. But this is more than made up for by the remaining toe tapping diddies and tear-jerking testaments that make up the rest of the play- not to mention the set design. Made up of interweaving structures which reached up to three stories high, the set interacted with the actors throughout their scenes in a really fun and kind of terrifying way. Rumored to be based off of Victor Hugo’s own sketches, Les Mis’s set is one actors dream of. Overall, it made for pretty remarkable musical theatre, and for a two-hour show, both the cast and the audience exited exhausted, sated and satisfied.

Highlight: The Thénardier’s (Trever Ashley and Lara Mulcahy). You have to see it to know why.

Lowlight: Tipoki’s ‘I dreamed a dream’. Way to kill a classic.

The season runs until Sunday February 8, tickets at Ticketek.

Review by Emily Purvis