When the Mackintosh production’s Les Miserables announced that it would be performing in Manila, both my sisters and I knew that we shouldn’t miss it! We heard a lot of good reviews about the legendary musical that we’re thrilled to watch the show. And truth-be-told, at the end of the performance, we surely weren’t disappointed because it left us astounded.
There’s no doubt on why a lot of audiences and critics had been raving about Les Misérables. The settings are beautifully made with the props being detailed-oriented. This includes structured buildings and barricades that provide strong dimensions throughout the stage area. With this, the audience will be able to grasp a realistic glimpse of the 19th– century France. To top things off, the production maximized the use of backdrop to deliver a flawless transition between sequences and movements that create a powerful illusion. And it was highlighted during the sewage scene – you would feel like Jean Valjean, while carrying Marius, had been travelling. But the truth is, there’s only transformations in the backdrop that illustrates the deepness of the sewage. Same thing goes to Javert’s suicide scene where he appeared like he’s falling; which I found both scenes captivating. The production also featured the original sketches of Victor Hugo in the projected images that I believe held a special mark in the play.
Complementing the powerful work of art is the brilliant ensemble of the cast. From their solo acts to group performances, each rendered distinct emotion and dynamism into the scenes. Just like the character of Monsieur and Madame Thénardiers, their witty persona becomes a perfect combination to balance the intensity of the drama. The song’s composition had also been orchestrated nicely that brings out a harmonic medley. From the tunes of “One Day More” to the popular ones, “I Dreamed a Dream” and “On My Own”, my sister and I can’t help but to lip-sync with the cast. And of course who can’t forget the joyful melody of “Master of the House”!
Les Misérables is truly a remarkable theatrical experience that needs to be in your bucket list. Every scene is worthwhile and something to look forward into. Especially the battle scene, the intensity of the effects and the lightning, from chaos to gunfire, sets the whole enactment that best reveals the climax of the story. Definitely, it gave me goose bumps. And being a “sung-through” musical, the sweet angelic voice of the young Cosette will leave you mesmerized, greatly talented at a young age. The little boy too! The one who played as Gavroche, his demeanour onstage has so much charisma.
One more dawn, one more day, one day more, I would like to go back and watch it again! And right now, I’m still having my hangover! And for a tidbit, try dropping by the stage door to have a photo with some of the cast.