cynicale: Drew Sarich, Leanne Dobinson, Jon Robyns and Nancy Sullivan (Les Mis: Cynical Statue)
[personal profile] cynicale
Anyone notice how I kinda really don’t like non-replica productions in general, with a few notable exceptions? Well, it’s official, I’m head over heels in love with a non-replica production. If you have any opportunity at all to go visit Tromsø before the end of November, do it!


- A+ set design. I have nothing but praise.
- Translation was silly at times, but there were also several really good moments. Of the 5 Norwegian productions I’ve seen, I’m 90% certain this was my favourite translation used. “A Heart Full of Love” is THE WORST, though - “In Love With Ya!” (Forelska i dæ). Beat was also off during many of the recitative parts.
- Current London cuts, mostly, with a few exceptions. Only a single verse of Little People was included, Turning was shorter than usual. On Parole was a bit strange - they cut the inn, which isn’t that uncommon, but Valjean skipped straight from “We do not want you here!” to “Now every door is closed to me…”, so something was audibly missing in-between. Usually they’d cut the whole “we do not want you here!” verse, right?
- … I would not have hired that particular group of people in the pit.
- Some questionable blocking - artistically twitching pile of people in AtEotD, worse-than-usual slow-motion, artistically convulsing Turning!women.
- So awkwardly unenthusiastic audiences, both nights. First applause occurred after Master of the House, though we had a scattering after the Confrontation on Thursday.


- Sorry, Leanne, you’re no longer my favourite Cosette. Jenny Kaatz is absolutely delightful!
- Ann Chistin Elverum’s IDAD was very emotionally charged - lots of whispers and cut off words. I was initially a bit suspicious, since she seemed to be covering up a less than perfect voice, but I was actually riveted by her performance.
- Socially Awkward!Marius, who had an affinity for full body hugs from behind and whose bow at “My name is Marius Pontmercy!” on Wednesday was one of the most awkward things I’ve seen in my life. Sadly, slightly less so on Thursday.
- Éponine, who I’d previously seen in Bergen, had a very weak first act, in my opinion. But her OMO was nice, and her ALFoR was excellent.
- Valjean had a few somewhat iffy moments, vocally, especially on Wednesday. His portrayal was nice but unremarkable, so I felt he was the weakest link in the main cast.
- I still very much like Hans Marius Hoff Mittet (who I previously saw in Oslo) as Javert, but he wasn’t spectacular. Good interpretation.
- Enjolras had (most of) the pipes needed, and his characterisation, while edging toward the all too usual too-creepily-fanatic-for-comfort, was more than acceptable. I liked him.
- Worker!Feuilly, best voice in the ensemble and with a great characterisation too. Also, Combeferre was quite adorable, whenever he was onstage.
- Grantaire existed to a greater degree than usual here in Norway - he threw a violent fit in DWM and later charged the barricade with a bottle in hand, only to take a gut shot. Combeferre died trying to help him up. had only time to cast a glance to heaven when he expired *sob*
- Madame Thénardier was actually believable as a person, not a caricature!
- Same thing goes for Bamatabois!
- The Gavroche I had on Wednesday was great, Thursday was good too.
- Horrible, horrible loudhailer.


- Enjolras went off to do recon during DWM/BHH, returning through a hole in the barricade to deliver the news in Dawn of Anguish!
- Uhm, people kept calling out for Louis the Barkeep. Let’s pretend they were totally referring to Louison.
- The students used ropes to “pull down the surrounding buildings” when they built their barricade, which worked quite well. Enjolras was charmingly useless at this endeavor.
- Who Am I: Valjean was absolutely certain Javert was only mocking/provoking him, that he knew.
- Valjean handed Thénardier a note from Fantine. Thénardier held it upside down, Madame corrected him before Young Éponine grabbed it. They ended up crowding around her at the table while she told them what it said.
- Instead of Colette/Cosette we had Klosett/Cosette - so, Thénardier called her a flush toilet.
- Amusing Patron Minette interplay during the Attack on Rue Plumet - someone, I think it was Montparnasse, climbed the (spiky! Actors, beware!) fence the same way Marius did earlier on, landing at the same moment the rest of them finally managed to pick the lock. He stared in baffled silence for a few seconds, then shrugged, very “hey, I got in, didn’t I?”
- Cosette brought out Catherine-the-Doll to be packed in ODM, Valjean spent most of the song cradling it.
- They also made it very clear that Cosette and Marius never were in the same place during ODM - Marius entered the evidently abandoned Rue Plumet through the unlocked gate, Cosette left the packing to Valjean and ran back to the fence while Marius crossed her path, unseeing.
- Enjolras found himself a well-protected position on the barricade, off to the right side! He went off to the middle almost every time he had a line, but still!
- Gavroche fell into Enjolras’ waiting arms, always a worrying sign, but he didn’t freak out. He just kinda stiffly passed him over to a waiting woman. Grantaire… threw another fit, this time aimed at the Stage Right wall?
- Blocking of the Final Battle was unfortunate. It started out good, it’s the dying part which was the problem… watching Enjolras die was painful for all the wrong reasons. Also, he just disappeared after getting shot, no dramatic reveal of his body. His friends’ souls awoke and disappeared through the holes in the barricade, very dramatically. That’s part of the reason people had trouble dying - they had the fall in positions conducive to disappearing acts. Said holes corresponded to windows while the barricade was still vertical, by the way.
- Oh, God, most heartbreaking blocking of ECaET I’ve ever seen - les Amis replayed ABC Café/Red and Black in the background with a great big empty space where Marius should have been, freezing and fading out once they’d raised their fists in their “yeah!” posture.
- Valjean coughed tactfully before he interupted Marius and Cosette at the end of Every Day. For the duration of the song, he had remained off to the far right of the stage, shut out of the happy!zone.


I’m almost overcome with emotion, just typing this up. Why did such a great production have to be located at the other side of the country? I LIVE FOR NITPICKING LM PRODUCTIONS BUT MY ISSUES ARE MINISCULE COMPARED TO WHAT’S USUALLY THE CASE! I haven’t been so happy with a production since London late 2009!


Some lyrical gems:
May God’s blessing go with you - alle kan ta feil iblant (everybody makes mistakes sometimes)
Phantom faces at the window.. - Sangen kan æ enda høre… (I can still hear the song. Given that they were replaying R&B…)
You got some years behind you, sir//there’s much that I can do - Du har noen år på baken, du/æ har da no’n igjen (idiom, you have some years on your bum // I have some left!) It’s all in the delivery:)
Let the wine of friendship never run dry - Vi har vin og venneskap, ungdom og glød (we have wine and friendship, youth and passion)




You should definitely watch the backstage video, here: http://www.nordlys.no/kultur/article6268098.ece
Javert’s Suicide (in English) - http://www.nordlys.no/kultur/article5952908.ece
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