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Review - Les Misérables: Lynch & Patterson’s production was superb

By Liv Wilson

Les Misérables

Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg

Lyrics by Alain Boubill & Jean-Marc Natel

Book by Alain Boubill & Claude-Michel Schönberg

Based on Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Misérables

Directed by Cienda McNamara

Musical Directed by Lucas D. Lynch

Executive Produced by Samantha Patterson

Redcliffe Entertainment Centre

Season has ended.

Les Misérables is arguably one of the world's most iconic and well-loved musicals, which tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former convict who spends his life seeking redemption & learning the dynamic power of love.

This story is set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, amidst the French Revolution & presents timeless themes of perseverance, generational suffering and the ultimate acts of compassion.

The storyline encompasses war, crime, love, loss and tenacity that parallels our current world almost perfectly.

Lynch & Patterson’s production was superb. The casting & direction by Cienda McNamara were very impressive as was the Musical Direction by Lynch.

The stand-out of this show was the vocals; they were incredibly powerful & moving. It was clear that a significant part of the rehearsal period was spent focusing on this (as it should be for a show of this magnitude); it would have been great to see an equal emphasis put on the acting as from time to time there seemed to be a slight disconnect between the acting & vocals.

The highlight of the musical was the sheer impressiveness of the larger ensemble numbers. One Day More was perfectly choreographed and sung, as was Do You Hear The People Sing & its reprise. Jesse Blachut, who demanded stage presence as Enjolras, was commanding in his portrayal and was especially captivating in these two numbers. I was surprised to read that Blachut was originally cast as an ensemble-member who stepped up to fill the role of Enjolras in this performance.

Nykita O’Keefe as Eponine was utter perfection from the moment she entered stage, both vocally and theatrically On My Own was the stand out solo female performance of the show. I was moved by O’Keefe’s acting ability and smooth vocals throughout the show.

Lionel Theunissen did an excellent job of capturing the relentless menace of Javert.

One of the slight flaws in the show was an inconsistency of lighting cues. There were numerous times where cast members were left unlit on stage which distracted from the otherwise excellent performance.

The star of the show was Shannon Foley who played Jean Valjean to perfection. Every single song he performed was unblemished. It was hard to take your eyes off of him because he was always in character & ‘working’. Foley oozed experience and charisma the whole show. He left me speechless numerous times & there wasn’t a dry eye in the house after his exquisite performance of Bring Him Home.

The chemistry between Cosette and Marius was beautifully directed. Samantha Patterson & Travis Holmes connected with their roles and were a strong on-stage team from their first meeting.

The set was terrifically designed by David Lawrence & was utilised well for this large-scale show. It was clever yet simple enough not to pull attention from the performers.

Unfortunately for readers the season of Les Misérables has finished, however I urge everyone to get along to Lynch & Patterson’s upcoming show.

Please visit their website for information on their next show, ‘The ABBA Experience’ playing at Twelfth Night Theatre in May.


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