Les Miserables UK Tour - Mayflower Southampton

 Do you hear the people sing? Well you could definitely hear the cast of Les Miserables as they took to the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton stage. And fortunately for us, Max and I were invited to join them at the barricades at they brought the house down. 

Based on the classic tale by Victor Hugo, this tour version of Les Miserables has come full circle as it returns to Southampton in 2022. Watch as you follow a story about love, freedom, sacrifice, and fighting for what you truly believe in. With hit songs that even the most infrequent theatre goer will know, it's truly a show for the masses. And the timelessness of the show is evident in how it still stands strong today. 

The tale of Les Miserables opens with Jean Valjean, a criminal who has served his time yet is still being persecuted for his actions by the police inspector Javert. In his pursuit of freedom, he steals from a Bishop and subsequently changes his identity and becomes a business owner. Within his business a young mother called Fantine is desperate to save her child and puts her hopes in Valjean supporting her in this venture. Fast forward a few years and you meet Marius and his band of revolutionaries who are hell bent on changing the future of France one battle at a time. But can small actions change the future of many?

Les Miserables isn't a show for the faint hearted. With scenes of violence and death that will have you sobbing into your programmes, you will most definitely be sent on a rollercoaster of emotions. The staging was so magically created that you felt like you were truly immersed in 1800's France whilst also hurtling through more than 20 years throughout the show. I honestly can't comprehend how all the staging fit on the stage, and how some of the wonderful visual effects were done to accompany this show. 

Dean Chisnall took to the stage as Valjean, perfectly cast in every way with his rendition of Bring Him Home that left the audience with no dry eye in sight. He was up against Nic Greenshields who stepped into the role of villainous Javert so well that I honestly would struggle to see him in any other role. Katie Hall wowed audiences as Fantine with her angelic vocals and emotional performance. Will Callan, Paige Blankson and Nathania Ong took on the roles of Marius, Cosette and Eponine and all worked well together with such natural chemistry and musicality that it was hard to look elsewhere when they were on stage. 

I have to commend both Helen Walsh and Ian Hughes who personally stole the show as the Thenardier's. Their comedic timing, on stage chemistry and nuances on stage just were pure perfection. They had both myself and Max in hysterics as just the right time when the tears were still flowing. I must also commend the young cast, especially Noah Walton as Gavroche who's energy and stage presence was something to rival even the most veteran of actors. There's big things coming his way!

Les Miserables is a show that takes you on a journey like no other. It shows you the highs and lows of French life in the 1800's whilst also feeling eerily poignant to this day. In a world where conflict and mistrust with authority is at an all time high, Les Miserables resonates in a slightly different way. Blending the historic and the foreshadowing at the same time. It's a show that stands the test of time and is easy to see how it is still a fan favourite in 2022. 

From a family friendly perspective I would say that this is a long show. Running at 3 hours with a 15 minute interval, this is a true investment of time (but is so worth it!). Max absolutely loved the show and I can honestly say that he was probably the perfect age to go. There were a few younger audience members near us and they became visibly fidgety towards the end of the first half. The themes and language is much more mature than your standard family friendly piece of theatre, but I also feel that the show is just as educational as it is entertaining. 

Les Miserables is a show like no other. It's a show that is timeless, with themes that span love, loss and conflict. It's one not to miss and I'm so glad I was able to experience it at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton. It's on in Southampton until 26th March before continuing on a UK Tour. It is also still in the West End and can be found at the Sondheim Theatre. Tickets are selling fast, so don't miss one show more!

*Please note: Tickets were gifted but all opinions are my own. 

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