This production is staged as ten people auditioning for a Les Mis casting session – so each person has a number and has to sing a song each (followed by 30 mins of Les Mis songs). Reasonable enough I suppose to add a twist to what is essentially a concert but as nothing is done to develop this concept I really don’t see the point.
For example, if you’re auditioning individually, why start why an ensemble number? I feel it would work so much better as a straightforward concert – “Let’s sing some great songs from great shows”! Then you’re not tied to a theme or trying to be clever when there’s no need.
When we get down to it the singing is actually very good on the whole although there could be a lot of tweaking done technically. The men in particular are good – the whole show lifts when we get to Bui Doi, very well done (although again if it’s an ‘audition’ why do your competitors suddenly join in with backings?).
On the whole there is little acting in the songs (with a couple of notable exceptions), it’s a just a stand-and-sing job. And other than a song from Shrek the material is all standard fayre – perhaps aimed at the casual musical-liker as opposed to the fans of genre.
Backing is by a small live band containing some really ham-fisted keyboard playing and while often being too loud it does the job.
Disappointing overall, lets have some lights, glamour, fancy outfits and more varied songs please? The audience loved it though and if they keep going in droves that can’t be a bad thing in the end.
Review by Alan
theSpace @ Symposium Hall