I was delighted to read that Cameron Macintosh was putting on the his new production in Sydney, so I would get the chance to see it. I have regularly told people that the best production of Les Mis I saw was an amateur production in Wollongong, in the 1990s. There was something about the performances that night which connected and resonated with me. I'll never forget one of the girls in my year (Lisa O'Connell) playing the role of Epoinine in one production, she was amazing.
I got goose bumps when the first notes of the overture were played, and was just riveted through the whole show. One of the highlights were the drawings which were incorporated into the show as backdrops.
Simon Gleeson and Hayden Tee were great as Val Jean and Javert respectively - I loved the orchestrations for 'The Confrontation', and the chemistry between them, Hayden nailed 'Stars' and I loved Simon's performance of 'What have I Done'.
Patrice Tipoki's (Fantine) 'I Dreamed a Dream' was beautiful. The Thenardiers (Trevor Ashley & Lara Mulcahy) added the 'lightness' to the show, as needed.
The highlight for me was Kerrie-Anne Greenland who plays Epoinine. She's always the character in the show that I identified with the most. I just loved the performances of 'On My Own' and 'A Little Fall of Rain' (which usually brings tears). The other moment which really stood out is the song 'Drink with Me' and Grantaire's lines:
'Drink with me to days gone by / Can it be you fear to die? / Will the world remember you When you fall? / Could it be your death means nothing at all? Is your life just one more lie?'.Would love the cast singing 'Do You Hear the People Sing?' again after they take their bows.
I always have a hard time comparing performers and performances, as each and every time the story strikes me differently, and I notice different things. I don't think I can recommend seeing the musical highly enough, and the cast going to Brisbane after the Sydney season finishes.