Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Friday, April 22, 2011

Les Mis at Theatre Royal, Waterford.


Waterford has a strong musical society  tradition and it is encouraging to see this being carried on in a younger generation and exemplified most recently by a  wonderfully rousing production of Les Miserables by the South Eastern Youth Drama production.  Nothing about the production disappointed.  The sets with  gates and of course, a barricade glided effortlessly when required,  the many lighting changes added much to creating the atmosphere of a preelectric age. The  large ensemble were suitably  cast. The stand out performance was that of Glen Murphy in the role of Jean Valjean who gave an incredibly controlled and mature performance that  belied his youth. Jarvert with a rather throaty delivery was distinctive and had a good stage presence and the enmity between the two stage personas was credible.  Thenadier  and wife squeezed every nuance from their comic double act .  There was  an impressive emphatic brass sound in the pit, although strings were a litte thin and one did miss the bite of an oboe in some of the more plaintive numbers.

The direction and musical staging was by David Hennesy with Wayne Brown the musical director. Unsurpringly, the show was a sell out with afficionados in Waterford snapping up tickets. Although a long show at almost three hours,  the wealth of memorable numbers combined with the strength of the production meant we were not tempted to sneak out early at any point  as we have been  increasingly prone to do with our diminishing attention span.  Moreover, had we seen this on a prestigious London stage we would have not been disappointed  and felt it was worth the trip. Wishing the group every success in its next  endeavours. Put me on your mailing list.

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