Review: Les Misérables

Les Misérables is an epic musical, based on the novel by Victor Hugo and adapted as a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil. It has wowed theatre audiences around the world with it’s powerful songs.

More recently it transferred to the movie screens bringing it to yet another audience.

It is a production that can only be taken on by a dedicated and confident company as the musical numbers are now so well known…. so what chance for an am-dram theatre school where the cast are also all under 25?

Normally there would be no chance of such a company pulling it off, unless of course they are the Ipswich-based CTC.

Ipswich24 have championed this company for sometime, having seen their versions of Cats and Hairspray…. but surely Director and Owner of The CTC, Bridie Rowe has bitten off too much this time? No, not a problem. This is truly the best production that we have witnessed this year.

Set in 19th Century Franceit is the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant and his quest for redemption after being imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. Breaking free from his incarceration the story follows the highs and lows of his life in the revolution period of a changing France.

Les Mis, as it’s affectionately known, is a dark story, although there are some lighter moments too, and the songs reflect this, from the heart-wrenching On My Own and I Dreamed a Dream to the light-hearted and fun Master of the House.

The CTC have chosen Ipswich’s Corn Exchange as the venue for this production, and the staging takes place both on the stage and also on the floor of the venue, and even spills over into the audience too at times. This decision is masterful as especially for those near the front, it brings the audience into the story and makes it even more powerful.

Most theatre companies have some outstanding members, but it is not a lie to say that The CTC have the knack of actually choosing stunning performers all-round. There truly isn’t a weak-link among the entire cast, and for that reason, this reviewer is not going to single out anyone as they really were all perfect.

Mention must be made however of the Orchestra, who are not seen by the audience, but are backstage performing live and led by Jade Tournay-Godfrey.

I can guarantee that you will be entertained from start to finish, forget you are in Ipswich’s Corn Exchange for you could easily be watching any professional production in the world.

I know I will not be “On My Own” in saying that this is top notch production by one of the best Musical companies around. Book Now!

Les Misérables is at The Ipswich Corn Exchange, 21st-28th July,
Book online» or call 01473 433100

Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24
Photos: Mike Kwasniak