REVIEW: Les Miserables, Theatre Royal Norwich
This blockbuster of a show, a tale of broken dreams, unrequited love, sacrifice and redemption, arrives with us for almost five weeks. Based on the Victor Hugo novel, this Cameron Macintosh favourite is just as popular as it was when first performed back in 1985.
It’s a show I know well - those haunting songs like Bring Him Home and I Dreamed a Dream, are now part of our theatrical heritage - yet my teenage daughter, seeing it for the first time, was just as captivated as thousands before her.
It has everything, of course: a passionate storyline, a terrific score performed by a live orchestra, wonderful lyrics, and you can see that a lot of love has been poured into this production which had one of the most enthusiastic standing ovations the theatre has seen for a long time.
Dean Chisnall as Jean Valjean, last seen in Shrek The Musical in Norwich, is very impressive - but what a role to have; Katie Hall shines as tragic factory worker Fantine; and comedy ‘baddies’ Thenardier (Ian Hughes) and Madame Thenardier (Helen Walsh) give great over-the-top performances.
The show is the best part of three hours - but there’s a lot of French history to get through - and you’ll leave singing a few of those wonderful numbers and sniffling a little as it is so emotionally charged. Storm the barricades to get a ticket!
The production continues until April 4.