Les Miserables Reviews
Average customer review: (4.5 Stars)
Number of reviews: 132
Christopher Gough from London, England
LES MIS - SONDHEIM THEATRE LONDON - 11 JAN 20 - 7.30PM
I've seen 'Les Mis', in various incarnations, since its original opening in the '80s. I enjoyed the performance - with some reservations. The lighting design is overly dark. I realise that Paris is the early 19th century wasn't ablaze with light, but there needs to be a balance between realism and the audience's enjoyment. Some of the performers, in their desire to give a 'barnstorming' performance were over-exuberant; their voices sounding strained with singing replaced by shouting (especially Javert) on occasions. 8 shows a week will induce strained vocal chords in no time. 'Les Mis' is a big show shoehorned into a small theatre - which shows. There is now no revolve and the barricades shuffle on from the back of the stage - much less impressive than earlier versions. 'Les Mis' has an iconic score, book and libretto, which makes it worth seeing - but thirty odd years on, its a 'bargain basement' production these days.
Phil J from London, England
NEW PRODUCTION…. COST CUTTING
Just saw the ‘new’ London production of Les Miserable and can’t describe how disappointed I am about the changes. Cameron Macintosh has gone on a cost cutting exercise at the expense of the show. Gone are the turntable and moving barricade, in come a monstrous 3 storey building and push on sets. Wisely he’s left the music and lyrics alone (probably cheaper that way) although I did notice some political correctness sneaking in. Most Les Miz fans will love it but I consider myself more critical and don’t accept any old rubbish!!
Iain Grant from London, England
FOR ME THE GRAND SPECTACLE HAS GONE
I saw Les Mis in 1988. I had never been to a London Theatre performance before, I was 21 and was overwhelmed. It was incredible: The staging, the singing, the performances, all from another world. I cried, the hairs on my arms stood on end. Last night I went to the Sondheim Theatre with 3 others who had never shared the drama or the spectacle of the show before. I said they might cry. I was so wrong. The drama is still there but so diluted, the staging is nothing close to the original with the most unusual attempts at stage effects (e.g. Javert's suicide scene) and the placement of characters on the stage was often misjudged. What disappointed the most was the commitment from the performers. Overall they have good/great voices but that is why they get the call for this show. I just didn't feel they reached into my soul. Valjean struggled, the female leads underwhelmed succumbing to melodrama. Most male voices were weak. But please, don't let me put you off. Judge for yourself.
Matthew from London, UK
A HUGE DISSAPOINTMENT
I went to see Les Miserables convinced that it's long run meant that it was a good show. It most definitely is not. The music is bland, the lyrics rhyme childishly and some of the singing is awful. If you like music and theatre, as I do, then go to an opera and see it done properly.
Michael London from London, England
First saw Les Mis in 1985 at Barbican with Colm Wilkinson,Michael Ball, Patti Lapone, etc. and was blown away. Saw again for 25th Anniversary and was still great. Following reviews of new production was looking forward to new version for 21st Century. Immediate thought was this is very small stage. Set seemed dated and flat and with some notable exceptions performances lacked any sense of passion or intensity. Acting was generally poor. Singing was uneven and very loud. Best bits were special effects ( e.g cellar scene) First half seemed very rushed. ( Matinee performance) Went home and listened for first time in years to original (1985) cast recording. Different class. Trevor Nunn's production and staging remembered for fantastic sets and powerful imagery . revolving stage much missed in this production. Not for theatre lovers. Leave this one for the tourists to enjoy.
Shaun Loftus from London, England
BAD. JUST PAINFULLY BAD.
It could be that I saw it on broadway 30 years ago. It could be that I have seen every anniversary special. Or it could be that they subbed in actors? Jean Valjean hit every note precisely. And without passion. And without acting. And with a whole lot of meaningless movement. Fontine was clearly an understudy - and one who clearly hadn't been rehearsed... poor thing. The new staging completely overwhelmed the acting, robbing actors of moments they could have had were not they being cut short by moving set pieces. Thenadier was dialing it in, clearly thinking about his shopping list or after show plans. A standout was Eponine, but even she had a stupid death scene, her death song weakened by whatever idiot told her to twitch her legs throughout. Worst of all no one seemed to trust the music. Comic scenes weren't funny, sad scenes weren't sad, the show has been drained of both pathos and politics. Save your money and watch the movie.
Bill Williams from London,
You either hate it or love it. It is certainly not the best show in the west end.
What you thought
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What we thought
REVOLUTIONARY Jaw Dropping iconic.
The world has embraced 'Les Mis' with both arms.
As the first trumpet sounded and the curtain rose I was sucked into 19th century France along with the inner turmoil of our hero Jean Valjean, played by the fantastic Killian Donnelly.Read full review
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