Les Miserables - 21st Anniversary concert - 15 September 2006

The 21st anniversary concert felt like a very intimate experience as there were only 600 people in the audience but it was a great atmosphere as it was full of performers and fans of the show. The cast got a huge cheer and what a joy to hear the score played by a full orchestra, that is how it should always be heard.

Praise initially goes to the ensemble for their superb singing, the volume and strength was brilliant and so uplifting. As it was a cut down concert, mainly act 2, some characters weren’t able to come through as much as others as the main ‘dialogue’ of their characters was cut

In addition to the current London cast there were a couple more additions to the ensemble John Owen Jones is just superb as JVJ, not only singing it brilliantly, both strong and subtle but acting the role.

Hans Peter Janessens does have an odd style of Javert and clips many of the words. English not being his first language has the advantage that every word can be hear and whilst he gave a very good performance I am not sure he is naturally a Javert.

Sophia Ravegelas sang Fantine very well and had some nice interaction with John Owen Jones. I would like to see her play the role as I am not sure she is quite the right character for Fantine, whereas she was the perfect Eponine.

Chris Vincent was one of the campest Thenardier’s I have seen but it worked. A very expressive face and conveyed that underneath the campness was the nastiness. Tracie Bennett was fine as Madame Thenardier

Marius, Eponine and Cosette didn’t seem to come over well in the concert

Sabrina Aloueche I found a little bland as Eponine. It was hard to gauge her take on the character as essentially she only had her main songs but whereas there was interaction between JVJ and Javert and Fantine, there was much interaction with Marius and Cosette. I found her voice a little too girly and not the strength Eponine should be. Again Gina Beck was barely seen as Cosette and Jon Lee performed Marius well but facially he didn’t give as much as he has done in earlier performances.

Overall it was a very good concert and no one was essentially wrong, some just came over better than others in the concert format

As the concert was for radio following the main performance we were than able to sit and watch the sections that needed re-recording which was a welcome finish to the concert

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