Saturday, October 24, 2009

Recent London Favourites

Since I've seen the West End production of Les Misérables three times now (so far!) I just thought it might be fun to compare them and try to come up with my personal favourites.... as always - these are just my personal thoughts - no offence intended! So here we favourite in each part based on seeing the production in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

I really liked both Drew Sarich (2008) and David Shannon (2009) a lot. Both did an amazing job! If I had to pick only one it would probably be David though, since I saw him most recently and have also seen him in Sweeney Todd (where he also did a great job!). His Valjean was really memorable! (But I liked Drew too!)

Earl Carpenter (2008 & 2009) is probably my favourite. I've seen him twice and he was SOO good as Javert. I'm not usually a Javert-fan, but he made me really understand the character - I even "got" Stars, which is a song that's always annoyed me before. (sorry!! It's a beautiful song, but before I heard Earl sing it this summer it made NO sense to me that Javert would be singing it).

Sophia Ragavelas (2006) is my favourite Fantine so far. I really liked her voice, and she made you really care about Fantine.

Have to say I have yet to see a REALLY great Thénardier. Since I compare them with the amazing Alun Armstrong I'm not sure I ever will....

Madame Thénardier:
My favourite so far is Jackie Marks (2008). She was the perfect Madame Thénardier - not only was she SO funny, she also has a great singing voice !

My favourite is Nancy Sullivan (2008 & 2009). I was a bit surprised, since she's the first blonde Eponine I've seen - but she is SO right for the part. She doesn't only play it - she IS Eponine. It seems to me that most Eponines seem to copy either Frances Rufelle's version or Lea Salonga's version - but Nancy really has her own style of playing Eponine, and it works brilliantly!

Cosette is a character that I personally have a bit of trouble liking as an adult. I adore young Cosette, but once she gets older the character just feels a bit "boring". Still, of the Cosettes I've seen I would say my favourite is Gina Beck (2006) - wonderful voice!

My favourite Marius is probably Jon Lee (2006). He seemed like the perfect Marius!

Since Enjolras is my favourite character I have very high demands on the poor guy who plays the part. Being compared with the amazingly talented Michael Maguire isn't easy - but I have to say Simon Bailey (2006) did a really great job! I wish I could have seen him as Enjolras more than once (but have since then seen him as Raoul in Phantom of the Opera - also great!)

Jeff Nicholson (2006 & 2009) would be my favourite! Really funny, and great singer!

(I'm not picking favourites among the children - they have all been really great!!)