Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Les Misérables

I have been obsessing over Les Misérables for a few months now. I went to see the show in London last June and fell in love with the story, the songs and the characters. My dear friend Aurélie (with whom I went to see it in London) found the songs and gave them to me about four months ago, and I haven't stopped listening to them ever since. I also received the DVD of the 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2 for Christmas, and watched it twice already. I think it is pretty clear that this musical might be one of my favorites.

The musical Les Misérables, based on the novel by Victor Hugo, opened at the Barbican Theatre of London in 1985 (it is the second longest-running musical in the world), the music was composed by Claude-Michel Schönberg and the lyrics were written by Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel and Herbert Kretzmer. Set in the France of the 19th century, the story follows the struggles of different characters, going from prostitutes and student revolutionaries to factory workers and others. The musical mainly centers on the lives of Jean Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Cosette, Marius, Eponine, Enjolras and the Thénardier couple. My favorite character is Eponine, I cannot hide it; any of us girls can relate to her and what she is feeling.
There are 34 songs (or 49 according to the Wikipedia page) and no matter how many times you listen to them, they will always give you chills. You certainly know some of them, even if you don't think you do: "On my own" or "I dreamed a dream". Those two are absolutely beautiful, but take some time and listen to "A heart full of love", "Red and black", "Do you hear the people sing?", "One day more" or "At the end of the day" and you will know what I mean about the chills.

Many very talented actors played these characters over the years, but my favorite ones are Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Samantha Barks as Eponine, Lea Salonga as Fantine, Katie Hall or Lisa-Anne Wood as Cosette, Liam Tamne as Enjolras and of course, Craig Mather as Marius (some might say Nick Jonas, but eh, I love Craig very very much, big part of the obsessiveness I was talking about).
As you might have heard, a movie is currently in making. I personally think it is not such a bad idea, I would love to see what they make out of it. I must admit, I am not very excited to see Hugh Jackman as Valjean nor Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Although I like both these actors, I don't see them as those characters. I am A LOT more excited about Aaron Tveit as Enjolras, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette and most of all: Samantha Barks as Eponine!

The story is beautiful, the characters and the actors are breath-taking and the songs are amazing. I recommend this musical to anyone, you will not be disappointed. Even if you do not feel like musicals are 'your thing', then wait for the movie to come out. I cannot believe I waited this long to discover it.

Samantha Barks
Craig Mather, Alexia Khadime and Lisa-Anne Wood
Alfie Boe and Lea Salonga

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