So, last night I was lucky enough to g0 to see Les Misérables by Robert Hossein and Claude-Michel Schönberg at the Gaitey Theatre with my parents and my lovely fiance. Les Miserables is based on one of the best known novels of the 19th century by French author Victor Hugo.
I had been looking forward to this for a long time. So long in fact, that I completely forgot we were going this weekend! I think my Mum had to book in something like October to get good seats in the dress circle.
Everytime I go to the Gaitey, I am reminded of what a blessing this building is to the Isle of Man. It really is remarkably beautiful. It was opened in 1900 as a grand Opera House and Theatre and was designed by architect Frank Matcham. After years of neglect, the Isle of Man Government acquired the Theatre in 1971 and restoration work began in 1976. The Building has since been carefully restored back to Matcham's original design.
The production was put on by the Douglas Choral Union who did an absolutely amazing job at doing this show justice. A production like this really highlights how much talent we have on this Island! I really take my hat off to all those involved in the production, the amount of time, energy, passion and vision which must have gone into it does not go unoticed. Viewing the show, you could have easily been in the West End. The set, the lighting and the orchestra were faultless.
David Artus gave a courageous performance of the principal character 'Jean Valijean' . He creates a portrait of this tragic hero with pathos and passion. The denouement of the play was particulalry moving as Artus subtlely demonstrated Jean character with light and shade. He is unwilling to forgive himself, yet is so forgiving to others.
The sobre atmosphere of the play has real moments of bathos too and a special mention should go to John Short and Olivia Black who played the corrput, M. & Mme. Thénardier. They provided light relief and countless laughs from Saturday's audience.
One of the stand out singing performances for me was Victoria Corkill's (Eponine) recital of "On My Own" in the second half. I was blubbing at that point!
Did anyone else go to see this? What did they think?
Hope you're having a lovely weekend!