Review – Les Misérables, Barbican

Guest review by Legally Blonde

Bless him, he had tried. But it was the involuntary groan of “Oh God” when the audience gave Les Mis a standing ovation that gave him away. Mr S was not a happy theatre critic bunny.

Ashley Artus and Lynne Wilmot. Photo: Michael Le Poer Trench
I, on the other hand, loved it. The creaky sets that were, by the sounds of things, the originals from 25 years ago. The surprise of having Gareth “Pop Idol” Gates as Marius – surely a sign of confidence if a show doesn’t advertise celebrity cast members (he is a celebrity – he appears in Heat Magazine and shagged Jordan). Those same inspirational songs that make you want to storm the Bastille with cries of “La Revolution!” (helpfully, we were at a stagetext performance, which meant we could sing along if we wanted to. Mr S didn’t.)

There were some great voices in the cast: John Owen Jones as Jean Valjean and Katie Hall as Cosette, dampened only by the truly awful Madalena Alberto as Fatine and the irritating little kid. Not his fault though, the part itself is a shameful technique to make the audience coo and giggle and ultimately, and inevitably, shed a tear when he buys it.

Perhaps the only miscast character was Rosalind James as Eponine who, whilst belting out On My Own forgot that she was at the Barbican and started rocking out like she was on X Factor (Gareth Gates’ influence perhaps?)

This is not a show for theatre critics. But is a show for fans. I loved it. Admittedly, I do have the double CD soundtrack on my iPod.