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About Deviant Member Iona Campbell21/Female/United Kingdom Groups :iconbarrieingham: BarrieIngham
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Well, I suppose you guys have all been waiting quite long enough to hear my thoughts on the production of Les Misérables I went to see a couple of days ago, during my birthday trip to London. I'm real sorry about that, but I've had quite a busy day today, which usually happens every time I plan on writing a review for a show I've recently seen. :roll: This might be quite short because my memory of the show isn't quite fresh, so I shall tell you about the bits worth mentioning that I can remember. Well, here we go.

So, as I told you, the show was absolutely amazing, but since I am now telling you in full detail why it was amazing, let's start from the beginning. Well, during the half hour between arriving at the theatre and the start of the show, the picture of Cosette, which is the show's mascot, was projected onto the backcloth which was coloured as a fogged up pattern of the French flag, I suppose as an indicator that the show was close to starting, which I thought was pretty cool. Several minutes later, the announcement finally came, welcoming the audience to the show and telling them all the safety procedures, etc.

Strangely enough, the show didn't start immediately after they had finished talking, which was strange, because that's usually what happens. Instead, the dramatic and epic introduction to "Prologue/Look Down" started without warning. I guess that's the reason why a lot of people in the audience wouldn't shut the hell up during the first minute or so. :roll: But when they did stop talking was when I really got to enjoy the show. At first, I wasn't that impressed with the actors playing all the convicts as they sang that first chorus section of the song. I'd imagine that during that part, it's supposed to look as though they're working whilst singing, but a lot of them just sort of worked a little and stood about, looking as if they didn't really know what to do as they sang. Whether they were supposed to do that, I'm not sure, but either way, I couldn't help but feel that it looked a bit iffy. :hmm: But to be honest, that was the only thing I didn't really like about that part. I liked how the had dry ice floating from the stage during that scene. It really added to the atmosphere of the setting being a place where the convicts worked as slaves somehow. I can't really explain why, I just kinda did. The conversation between Valjean and Javert was quite well directed as well. I especially liked the fact that Javert was reading from a big book as he sang, "Five years for what you did, the rest because you tried to run, Yes, 24601". Liked how they wanted to have a record of all the convicts, their numbers and their reasons for being imprisoned there.

During the song, "On Parole" which is sung by Valjean and some random townsfolk was the first time they used that spinning part of the stage which is apparently a thing during many Les Mis productions. They'd put small sections of a set on a spot of that, which I think is a great way to give the impression of Valjean going from place to place, looking for work only to be rejected by everyone he meets because of the yellow ticket he has to carry around with him, labelling him as a dangerous man (even though all he did was steal a loaf of bread to save his starving family. Honestly, the way the working class were and sadly still are treated... :no:). The Bishop, who takes him in and gives him food and shelter out of Christian kindness didn't have the best voice out of any actor I'd heard who had been cast as they Bishop, but the scene with him was still enjoyable nonetheless.

Another notable moment in that production was at the end of "Valjean's Soliloquy", when he sang the bit that goes, "I'll escape now from that world, from the world of Jean Valjean, Jean Valjean is nothing now, another story must begin!". Whilst he was singing, he stepped backwards a good few steps and he was cast in a very dim lighting. Needless to say that that bit gave me goosebumps.

Next bit was during "At the End of the Day", during the scene in the factory. I was majorly creeped out by the foreman's unwelcome advances towards Fantine. Seriously, I cringed every time he did that. :fear: And of course, I cried during "I Dreamed a Dream" her solo song which she sings after being sacked from her job after being found out for having an illegitimate child somewhere. Doesn't anyone? :XD:

And I'm afraid I shall have to skip over "Lovely Ladies" and "Fantine's Arrest", because, though notable those ones are, I can't really think of a moment in either of them worth mentioning. :shrug: So onto "Runaway Cart" then. They had some townsfolk running in circles on that rotating stage, I suppose to give the impression of them running to avoid said cart. Also, I have to say, I was surprised when the cart actually came on stage to see that it was a lot bigger than I expected.

Have to skip over "Who Am I?" as well, I'm afraid. That was very good, but again, nothing worth mentioning here. "Fantine's Death (Come to Me)" was the next scene I cried at. Especially after she died, when there was a bright heavenly light being shone on her body. A very touching effect, I felt. I cried more though during little Cosette's song, "Castle on a Cloud". I guess seeing that song being played live was when my heart really went out to that poor kid dreaming of living in a better home, away from her abusive family, the Thenardiers. Also, normally I really like Eponine, she's one of my favourite characters because I can relate to her later on in the show (for reasons that I will explain later in this journal), but I can't say I liked her very much in this scene. She struck me as being a bit of a bully in that scene, pointing Cosette out to Mme Thenardier, who had just scolded Cosette for idling in her work, and even worse, by going up to her and pushing her when Mme Thenardier scolds her again. I am just so glad Eponine gets over that kind of crap when she's older. Also, is it just me, or was the woman playing Mme Thenardier the same woman who played Carlotta in the 25th anniversary performance of The Phantom of the Opera?

Finally, we come to "Master of the House", another one of my favourite songs in this musical. You can bet that during the verse sung by the customers that I was bobbing my head left in right to the rhythm as I mouthed the words. Seriously, that song is catchy as hell. :XD:

And of course I squeed with adoration when Valjean comes to take Cosette away to look after her, as he promised her mother Fantine on her death bed. Love how he already acted all fatherly to her during their first meeting, before he had to bargain with the Thenardiers to take her from them. Those two really are the cutest father-daughter duo ever! :aww:

Skip to 10 years later, during the build up to that badly thought out revolution in Paris (I'm sorry fellow Les Mis fans, even though I agree that it's sad that all the students are killed, my sister and I still have no sympathy for them when they do. I admire their reasons for starting it up, but because it was basically an overnight decision made by drunken teenage boys, they pretty much brought it upon themselves. Let's be honest with ourselves here.). But we must skip another huge chunk to get to Javert's solo song, "Stars". What ruined that for me slightly was the fact the seats my sister had booked for us were right underneath the balcony, cutting off the top half of the stage from our view, so we couldn't see the stars during that song. :XD: But apart from that, I did enjoy it. :)

One thing I have to say now that we come to the "ABC Cafe/Red and Black" scene. All the actors playing the students looked the right age, except the actor playing Grentaire, who I felt looked a bit too old. I mentioned this to my sister after the show had finished, and she agreed, unless he was supposed to be a mature student. I guess adults would've went to college too during the Georgian era. Who knows? :shrug: The rotating stage was used once again during "Do You Hear the People Sing?", when Enjolras was being pulled on a cart as he waved his red flag and sang, which I actually thought was pretty cool.

Now onto, "In My Life" and "A Heart Full of Love". Ugh, as nice as this scene is supposed to be, it made me miserable because it reminded me of that prick who I tried to hook up with earlier this year, until he pretty much just ditched me. Oh, what I would give to punch him in the face! :anger: But anyway, from that onto "One Day More", the most epic song in the show. Sadly nothing much to say here, except that I liked the use of the rotating stage, where each actor was placed in a different spot, giving the impression that they were supposed to be in different places. And also the huge red flag being waved behind the entire cast singing as they lined up on the stage for the last bit. That was so damn cool!

End of Act 1. Intermission. End of Intermission. Act 2.

First notable moment worthy of mentioning during the second half of the show was during Eponine's solo song, "On My Own", a song I can very strongly relate to indeed. Nearly welled up during the bit where she sang, "I love him, but every day I'm learning, all my life, I've only been pretending, without me, his world will go on turning, a world that's full of happiness, that I have never known". After the song and finished and just before the applause had died down completely, I said, "I feel you, Eponine," cuz yeah, in case you haven't guessed, I know all too well how she feels! :X

And for the first time ever, I cried during "A Little Fall of Rain", Eponine and Marius' duet that they sing together, before she dies in his arms after being shot during her return to the barricade. They heavenly light shone on her body as well. Skipping over "Drink with Me" and "Bring Him Home" (which I have an idea for a piece of fan art based on it), Gavrouche's death scene is more shocking than before. Also, I was mightily impressed at how the actors playing the students managed to pull off the slow motion death as the all fell off the barricade set after being shot. They were clearly all professionals, so don't try that at home. ;) And of course, they'd use the rotating stage here again, just to show the dead Enjolras lying over red flag draped over a bit of barricade.

"Dog Eat Dog", the short song sung by Thenardier as he robs the bodies of the fallen students down in the sewers has got to be the creepiest song in the show! :fear: Also, liked how they had spot lights showing on various spots of the stage as Valjean is dragging Marius' unconscious over it, indicating that he's travelling through the sewers.

I also liked how they handled Javert's suicide scene. A bit of bridge was lowered down from the flies so that the actor playing him could walk onto it and climb over the rail. At first, I though that, while he was singing, they'd raise that back up so that when he finally makes his jump, he would actually leap down to some blacked out cushion our through the trap door on the floor of the stage that was used as the entrance to the sewers. But instead, it was raised up by itself as Javert sang out the last line, "There is no way to go OOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNN!!!!!!!". A safer way of giving the impression of him falling to his death, I guess, which is fair enough. Then they had him rolling about on the rotating stage with a spinning spotlight with a funny pattern, I suppose to indicate that that was him underwater.

I cried during "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables", Marius' solo song which he sings whilst mourning the loss of his friends killed in the failed revolution. The only other time I cried during that song was when I went to see the movie in the cinema last year... ^^;

Skipping Valjean's confession scene, Cosette and Marius' wedding, along with it being crashed by the Thenardiers, we are now on the "Epilogue", the final scene of the show, and another scene I always cry at. In fact, I think this was the only scene my sister cried at too. Especially when Fantine's ghost comes in and thanks Valjean for taking care of her daughter Cosette and telling him he can now have a peaceful afterlife. Especially when Valjean and Cosette hug after Marius explains that it was Valjean who saved his life the night the barricade fell. And especially when Marius sings a crying Cosette after Valjean finally dies peacefully. Loved how they had the heavenly spotlight shining on and giving the echoing effect on the voice on the ghosts of Valjean, Fantine and Eponine. During the last bit of that song, sung by the entire cast, the reprise version of "Do You Hear the People Sing?". This time, only sung by a selection of the cast. In fact, it looked as though it was the dead people's song again like it was in the movie. No matter, it's still an awesome way to end the show. :D

So yeah, all in all, the show was incredibly enjoyable, and I am very glad now that I bugged my family to book me tickets to go all the way to London to see it. Extra glad to say that I have now seen both my favourite musicals live now (The Phantom of the Opera being the other one, of course. ;)). :aww:
  • Mood: Pleased
  • Listening to: Les Misérables - 25th Anniversary OST


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Iona Campbell
United Kingdom
PLEASE, STOP IT! by crazylaura64

Full Name: Iona Roisin Campbell
Gender: Female
Date of Birth.: 19 April 1993
Place of Birth: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Birthstone: Diamond
Star Sign: Aries
Chinese Zodiac: Rooster
Current Age: 20
Height: About 5'0"
Nationality: Scottish/British/whatever...
Religious Views: Atheist
Political Views: For now, I am putting that on a strictly need-to-know basis.
Orientation: Straight/Hetero
Relationship Status: Single... and probably always will be... :(
College: Glasgow Kelvin College

Other information you need to know about me:-
:bulletred: I have Asperger's Syndrome.
:bulletorange: I am a HUGE fan of the following: Evanescence, The Great Mouse Detective, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, The Phantom of the Opera, The Hunger Games, Les Misérables, An American Werewolf in London, Wallace and Gromit, Billy Connolly, Final Fantasy, Still Game, Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python.
:bulletyellow: Music wise, my favourite genre is Rock/Metal, though I'll pretty much listen to everything, except rap or country.
:bulletgreen: Just now, I am studying NQ Musical Theatre at Glasgow Kelvin College. I am hoping one day to be a musical theatre actress and my ultimate dream role is either Christine Daaé from Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera or at least one of the three main girls from Les Misérables (Fantine, Eponine or Cosette). :heart: :D
:bulletblue: I mainly just write fanfics and poems and upload photographs here to dA, now that I have started practicing drawing, I will also upload the odd picture now and then. ;)
:bulletpurple: I am a hopeless romantic and am a complete sucker for lovey-dovey things. I am also hoping one day to get a lovely boyfriend of my own, but so far, I haven't been quite so lucky, and probably never will be. :(
:bulletpink: I can be a bit of a drama queen at times, so if you catch me overreacting to something, even slightly, just tell me and I will attempt to calm down. :XD:
:bulletred: Generally, I'm a kind, polite, friendly person, though I can be a total, total bitch if you get on my bad side! Treat me with respect, and I will treat you with respect back.
:bulletorange: I care deeply for my friends and family, so much so that I won't hesitate to stick up for them. So if I catch you being rude to any of my friends here, you'll be hearing from me.
:bulletyellow: Although I am a proud Atheist, I am absolutely fine with other people having different religious views from me. I won't try to shove my opinions down your throat, so don't you try it with me!
:bulletgreen: Although I am straight, I am a strong supporter of LGBT rights and am fiercely against prejudice views such as homophobia, racism, sexism, etc., and I will NOT tolerate comments expressing such views anywhere on my profile, journals or on any of my deviations. Please keep your nasty, bigoted little comments to yourself when speaking with me, or I will NOT be a happy bunny!
:bulletblue: I'm also strongly against abuse of all kinds to everyone and everything.
:bulletpurple: I am completely fine with people having different opinions from myself and I absolutely CANNOT stand drama, especially if it's caused by the stupidest little thing, like someone getting butthurt because someone's opinion differed from theirs on a specific subject.
:bulletpink: I also can't stand it when people try to bug me into doing things that I really don't want to do! If you ask if I'm going to do a specific thing, to which I say no, freakin' take that for an answer!
:bulletred: In general, I will NOT take any crap from anyone! If you cause me or any of my friends trouble, I will immediately block you, and even attempt to report you if you offend me enough.

And... that about covers it, I think. :XD:

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SebbysGirl13 3 hours ago  Hobbyist Filmographer
Thanks so much for the fav yo! 8D :heart: :iconyeahplz: :iconletmehugyouplz:

YOUR WEBCAM!! :heart:
You're welcome, and thanks. :aww:
Yaraffinity 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I missed your birthday, I'm so sorry!


.:bulletpink::rose::heart: HAPPY belated BIRTHDAY :heart::rose::bulletpink:.
Aw, that's so okay. Thanks all the same. :D
Basil4Life 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday you old bat! :XD: Hope you have a great day today. Take pictures darn you. :party: :cake: 
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