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Les Misérables – 25th Anniversary DVD Review

Les Misérables – 25th Anniversary DVD Review

This is my review of Les Misérables – 25th Anniversary DVD which is the musical based on the 19th century novel by Victor Hugo. In 2010, this awesome production came to the O2 arena for their 25thanniversary and a few months later I bought the DVD. This was my first experience of Les Mis and I was totally hooked. Not that this performance is flawless, as I will go onto explain…

The quality of the audio and video is the best I’ve heard on any production and the orchestra is first class. I did miss some of the 80s synth tones from earlier productions but I still enjoyed the audio very much.

I didn’t like how they showed the plot unfolding and because I hadn’t been exposed to the story before, I didn’t have a clue what was going on. It simply didn’t make sense. One example of this was when Fontein stepped backwards into the darkness to signify her death, but no explanation was given. In contrast to the 1995 10th Anniversary edition, no subtitles were displayed to give a hint as to what was gong on.

John Valjean played by Alfie Boe was top notch and totally enthralling. As was Javert played by Norm Lewis. Their confrontation duet is edge of the seat stuff.

I did think Marius played by Nick Jonas was a bit of a let down though, as I felt the part needed to be played by a ‘real’ man. If the part required a slightly woosy teenage heartthrob then he would have been perfect, but he was meant to portray a strong-hearted student with a pair of half-decent sized testicles.

Matt Lucas from Little Britain fame played the gorgeously grotesque Mr Thénardier and at the time I thought he did an awesome job. But after I watched earlier performances, I realised he did ‘Master of the House’ in double-time!

That said he was a joy to watch, even if he was singing too quickly!

The one other problem I had with this production was they missed arguably one of the best songs out – “Little People” by Gavroche. I reckon the actor Robert Madge was one actors to play this part and I’m gutted it wasn’t included.

I guess that’s time pressure for you and makes me wonder what other songs I haven’t seen/heard yet.

But beyond the criticism lies an awful lot of appreciation for this production, which opened my eyes to this awesome uber musical. It’s a must see!

Posted May 7, 2011
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