It may be long (three hours running time with a 15-minute interval) but every second is full of those recognisable songs which transport you through 17 years of French history and through the power of faith, love, compassion and forgiveness.
Killian Donnelly takes the role of Jean Valjean and he is definitely up there as one of the best I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a few). Katie Hall as Fantine, and Tegan Bannister as Eponine also give incredibly strong performances, and Nic Greenfields as the ‘baddie’ Javert is persuasive and powerful, (his suicide is one of the outstanding scenes in this production) whilst the amusing and irrepressible Thenardier and his wife lighten the proceedings in their time-honoured way, with such enthusiasm and levity in their lyrics you want to see more of them. But the whole cast clearly put their heart and soul into what is a hugely moving and very energetic performance. The hardest thing is trying not to sing along out loud.
The touring production includes new scenery, and despite the set being fairly minimal, although constantly and very cleverly repurposed and adapted, there is much for die-hard fans to appreciate in terms of tweaks and changes.
If you’ve seen it before, it’s definitely worth seeing again. If you’ve never seen the stage show – this is a must-see. To see such a huge production in what is a fairly small theatre creates an intimacy which only adds to the appeal.
Les Misérables plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal until Saturday 5th Oct 2019, with the final tickets remaining selling fast. Ticket prices start from £23.50 and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk