Breathtaking is how I would describe Victor Hugo’s, Les Miserables at the Wales Millennium Centre. Everything from the first beat of the music to the standing ovation at the end was simply breathtaking.
I had a vague knowledge of the story, but the clarity and strength of the singing by the cast ensured that you understood every word sung.
The ever changing backdrop and scenery was mesmerising from the moment the curtains opened onto the prisoners frantically rowing, the dark red stormy skies, the buildings towering above you and finally onto the barricades with flashing lights and surround-sound gunfire.
Twenty first century technology saw you pulled into the sewer system with Jean Valjean, and fall helplessly into the murky waters with Javert.
Fantine’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ sung by Katie Hall was so very powerful and so very sad, and literally brought a tear.
However laugh aloud antics soon followed with Thenardier and his wife, I could watch the inn scene again and again. There was so much going on, ‘Master of the House’ was wonderfully choreographed and although the Thernardier’s are vile, they left you wanting more! More came, as they arrived at the wedding and appeared in the windows at the end of Act One and the beautifully sung ‘One Day More’.
So with sad scenes in abundance, poverty, greed and hatred, and death all around, the title certainly fits. The ghostly finale of ‘Do You Hear the People SIng’ though draws the cast back onto the stage, and left me standing on my feet with the widest smile. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
Wales Millennium Centre until January 4, 3020