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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Les Miserables - RGS High Wycombe {Review}

Tomorrow comes!

There are a zillion high school productions of Les Mis on Youtube and frankly, almost none of them are any good (and some are downright wretched - Blacklick Valley High, for instance).  Most of them are indifferent at best and I've only found two that are really outstanding - Lincoln High School (hereafter referred to as LHS for brevity) and RGS High (which I shall call RGS for the rest of this post).  And of the two, RGS is the best.  The production values are outstanding, all the performers are amazing (with the exception of Marius) and the orchestra is really, really good.  Since it is so good, I decided to review it.  I just can't keep it all to myself :)

Oh, and another thing.  It's a British production.  Which may or may not have something to do with how good it is.  I'll let you decide.

I'm going to do a quick assessment of all the characters and then move on to songs and randomness.  Valjean is good (although LHS is still better).  Javert is THE best high school Javert I have ever seen.  I mean, Javert's Suicide is amazing.  Fantine is great.  I think she should have shown a little more emotion during I Dreamed A Dream but her voice is phenomenal and she basically nails everything else.  Marius is meh.  Sadly.  I've never seen a really good high school Marius.  Enjolras is  He doesn't wear the Red Vest of Power & Awesomeness until One Day More, but I doesn't really detract from anything (much).  Eponine is outstanding - great voice, great acting, etc.  Cosette is really good.  Her accent is so thick that at first I thought she had a speech impediment :)  I'm pretty sure she's Welsh (I'm thinking Enjolras is too).

Gavroche is one of the best I've ever seen.  And you know what I think one of the best things about the whole production is?  GAVROCHE HAS MINIONS.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?  Seriously, he's got four or five boys that are always with him.  And they agree with him about everything.  Like when he's singing "That inspector thinks he's something..."  It's great.

This was hilarious.  Gav is the smallest one right in the front.

About the songs...

The ensemble for At the End of the Day was great and one thing that I liked about the ensemble for Look Down (Beggars) was that they sounded angry.  In almost every high school production I've watched, they just sound bored (even LHS).  One Day More was epic.  I liked Drink With Me but I like LHS's version better - it's probably because of Grantaire.  The way he sings his part in LHS is almost as good as Hadley.  Speaking of Grantaire...the heartless production director did the Grantaire/Gavroche friendship along with Grantaire's reaction to Gavroche's death.  It was really sad.  Of course.

I really liked Combeferre and how the guy who played him was so in character.  He always carried a book around and he comforted Marius after Eponine's death (ALFOR was heartbreaking.  Just saying.) and Grantaire after Gavroche's death.  And the other students were good too (although none really stood out like Enjo, Ferre and R).

Go watch it on Youtube.  Right now.  And then come back and tell me what you thought.


Anonymous said...

oOo.... Methinks this shall be my Random YouTube Video for today. I'll watch it after I get some writing done and tell you what I think!!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I play Combeferre in the RGS version of the show you reviewed. Just wanted to say thanks for your kind words about me and the show.

To clear up one question you had, neither Cossette or Enjolras were Welsh (Or at least as far as I know). I am, actually, though you'd never know from my utterly non-Welsh accent.

But, as I said before, thanks! :)

Eva said...

OH MY GOODNESS. I am BEYOND thrilled that you commented on this post - it totally made my day :)

Well, I've found that I'm actually terrible at telling what certain accents are and singing voices can be different from speaking voices (have you ever heard Killian Donnelly - Les Miserables 2012's Combeferre - sing/speak? His singing voice is *totally* different from his speaking voice)

Anyway, thanks again for commenting! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm touched to hear my comment made your day, that's really nice of you. Finding your article certainly made mine also, a very welcome surprise. :)

I'm no better with accents myself tbh so I can sympethise entirely with what you said.

And thank you for writing the post, once again. (I fear we will go round in circles with this ;P).


Eva said...

Hehehehehe... We probably could =)

I was planning on posting the link to my review as a comment on the video but I got sidetracked and forgot all about it :P

I really think it's cool that someone who's actually played Combeferre commented on my blog because he's in my top three favorite barricade boys. And the fact that you're Welsh (since Wales has always been a place I've wanted to visit - mostly because my grandmother is part Welsh).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely review. We all loved performing in the production so much and it's nice to hear that people who have no connection with us or the school enjoyed watching it as well.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words.

Love from,
RGS's Marius xx

Eva said...

Oh, wow, I can't believe you guys commented as well =) Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I'm not welsh, wasn't aware I had an accent either but anyway..!On the whole I'd like to say thankyou because most of your review is very complimentary of our production! However, I strongly disagree with what you have said about Marius..Nothing about his 'Empty chairs at empty tables' (in my opinion anyway)could be described as 'meh'!!!! Also I think our 'Valjean' is clearly better than LHS's but I suppose that's a matter of personal preference.
RGS's Cosette

Eva said...

Thanks for commenting! I was really excited to get your comment because Cosette's one of my favorite characters :)

As for your points about Marius and tell the truth, I've been rewatching your production these past few days and my opinion of Marius has changed for the better :) And I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that your Valjean is the best one, as well.

Anonymous said...

Aw you're welcome! Thanks, mine too haha :)! Ah I'm very glad to hear that! It's really great to think that people from so far away are watching and enjoying our production! :)
RGS's Cosette

Anonymous said...

As much as I love all of your beautiful comments on our production I feel the characters Lesgles and Bamatabois seem to be ignored too often. I agree with the remainder of your comments though! :)))

Eva said...

Hmmmm...well, Lesgles is probably my least favorite barricade boy and I actually don't know any of his lines (or whether he even has any). As for Bamatabois, I find him crude and just an all around jerk, the way he treats Fantine :P I usually don't watch his part, anyway.

Judybear236 said...

Hello! Watched your production all the way through last eve... couldn't stop watching it. Very professional and well done. I agree with Amy about Javert's death. I have never seen it done so skillfully before. Valjean's voice was amazing, as was that of Eponine. I really enjoyed all of the character portrayals, including Gavroche and his cohorts. their salute to Javert was precious!

The Orchestra was good, but too loud and brassy at times. Loved the show! Well done by all!

- Judybear

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great comments, really appreciate it.

Gravroche minion

samanta veliz said...

Hey! I'm from Ecuador, and im enjoying right now watching the production, all of the guys have a great future on this, i can't believe is a high school production, awesome!

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