Friday, 25 March 2011

Jeff Nicholson's last Javert.

This is a bit of a late one too but this week is the last of Jeff Nicholson's official dates as Javert at the Queen's. You only have tonight and tomorrow to defiantly see him in the role. It will be worth it. He is a fantastic Javert and I'll be going tomorrow to see him.

Follow him on TWITTER for any updates on days he might be on as Javert before he sadly leaves on June 18th.

Signed, JML.

Les Miserables Cast Update 11/12

I've been rubbish with keeping up with this blog which was to be expected from me really but life gets in the way sometimes.

Quite a bit of cast new but I'm a bit late so you probably all ready know it all.

Officially Simon Shorten (Babet) and Martin Neely (Grantaire) are leaving :( and Scott Garnham (Feuilly) is staying and also moving up to first understudy for Enjolras. Katy Seacombe who recently rejoined the cast will be staying on as Mme Thenardier.

I found out via Twitter that Matthew Seadon-Young (Jean Prouvaire) has been auditioning. He had an audition for the Legally Blond tour today so fingers crossed for him!
I'll post whether he'll be staying or going as soon as I know.

Now, new cast announcements! Some of these aren't 100% because there hasn't been an official announcement but as far as we know here are the rest of the principal players for 2011/2012!

Alexia Khadime - Eponine

Liam Tamne - Enjolras

Emma Williams - Fantine

Craig Mather - Marius

Lisa-Anne Wood - Cosette

Also Adam Linstead will be reprising his role as Grantaire. He played the role on the 25th Anniversary tour last year. You can find more information on Adam HERE.

Out of all of these I must admit to being quite excited to be seeing Liam Tamne join the cast. I became quite a fan of his after seeing him in Hair and Departure Lounge last year. He has an incredible voice and is an amazing talent.

However, I am slightly concerned about his casting as Enjolras. I think he would have been much better suited as Marius. However, the casting seems to be on the young side for the next year so he was quite possibly 'too old' for that part. I hate calling someone the same age as me too old! Haha! Despite my slight concern I will reserve judgement until I see him take on the role on June 23rd. I'm sure I will love him like I have in everything else I have seen him in.

I love the 2010/2011 cast and I'm very sad to see a lot of them leaving so my expectations are very high for this cast. It is looking very promising and full of great talent so far. I'm positive they wont disappoint. 

Signed, JML.

Twitter for the 2011/2012 cast.
Alfie Boe
Hadley Fraser
Matt Lucas
Craig Mather
Liam Tamne
Lisa-Anne Wood
Jonathan Williams
Scott Garnham
Adam Linstead
Emma Williams

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A Little Les Miserables Cast News.

Just a quick update on some casting news of sorts for Les Miserables.

Both Scott Garnham (Feuilly) and Simon Shorten (Babet) have been auditioning. They will be leaving show if they land a new job or continuing on from June if nothing comes their way.

Sorry, I know this is quite cryptic but I thought some people may want to know that there could be the possibility of them both departing form Les Miserables.

As soon as I know anything more solid I will post it here.

Signed, JML.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Alfie Boe, Matt Lucas and Hadley Fraser Announced For Les Miserables.

Exciting news!
Alfie Boe and Matt Lucas' Les Miserables dates have finally been confirmed at a press conference today.

Alfie will be appearing as Jean Valjean from June 23rd until November 26th. He wont be doing Mondays or Wednesday matinée. More can be found about that on his site HERE including holiday.

Matt Lucas will be joining as Thénardier from June 23rd until September 10th. I haven't got any information on what days he'll be off or if he has any holiday booked I'm afraid.

Now, none of this was news as such just a conformation of what everyone knew. The news of the new Javert however just made me scream with happiness at my computer.

Hadley Fraser last see in Les Miserables at the O2 as Grantaire and also perviously in the Queens production as Marius will be returning once more. This time as inspector Javert! Again he will be appearing from June 23rd.

HERE is an article from today on Whatsonstage.

I may do an extra post about todays events later but my brain is too fried with excitement right now.

Signed, JML.

Cameron Mackintosh's Big Announcement.

I've decided to head down to Shaftesbury Avenue this morning where Cameron Mackintosh will be announcing what dates Alfie Boe is due to be seen in Les Miserables.

He will be joined by Alfie for the big announcement outside The Queen's Theatre.

I'm mainly curious just to see how many people will be there since it's at 9am on a Wednesday. The first I heard of it was at 2am on Twitter and I've only seen anything else on the subject on Alfie's website HERE which was posted at 8pm last night.

Never the less it is very exciting to finally have it confirmed. I'm looking forward to seeing Alfie and I've never been to something like this so I'm interested to see how it will be staged.

Maybe we'll even get a song out of Alfie Boe. I wont hold my breath though.

I'll post back here later in the day to say how it all went so be sure to come back.

Signed, JML.

And just a little Alfie for you and to get me more excited. I love this video!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Samantha Barks leaving the Queen's.

Just a quick up date on Les Miserables 2011/2012 cast.

Samantha Barks WILL be leaving Les Miserables on June 18th.

As soon as I have any news on what she will be doing next I'll post it here. In the mean time if anybody would like to contribute to a scrapbook for Sam information can be found on that HERE.
(This was not set up be me).

Also it looks like my hopes of Scott Garnham (Feuilly) becoming principal Marius may have been in vain. It seems as though he will also be departing on June 18th but I'll try find out for certain as soon as possible.

Signed, JML.

Direct From The West End Windsor.

Last Sunday I attended Direct From The West End a production put on at the Theatre Royal Windsor by Musical Ovation LTD created by current Les Miserables cast members Scott Garnham and Martin Neely.

The company consisted of Les Miserables cast members, past and present, with the exception of Jessie May who can currently be seen in Mamma Mia!

In their own words Musical Ovation LTD was formed "to supply elite, creative and original entertainment for the professional theatre industry and corporate market".

Now first of all I have to admit that I'm out of my element with this kind of concert. I'm use to back rooms in pubs with sticky floors and cramped venues full of teenage girls with too much eye make-up and boys with personal hygiene issues.

Everybody here is very quiet and since it is in a theatre we are seated. However, it is a full house by the look of things and everybody seems excited in their own way.

We had our pre-show entertainment watching a man in the front row 'make out' with his ice cream lid and another in the row behind us try to no avail to try explain to his girlfriend how a show called Direct From The West End will in fact have performers from the West End singing songs from shows from the West End. She still seemed confused by the time the lights began to dim.

It is deafly silent when the show opens with 'A New World' from 'Songs For A New World'. I'm already hooked and impressed at this point since this is one of my favourite songs.
Killian and Scott during rehearsals.

It was a flawless rendition of the song performed by the full company which consists of; Gina Beck (Phantom of the Opera), Rachel Bingham (Les Miserables), Killian Donnelly (Les Miserables), Scott Garnham (Les Miserables), Jessie May (Mamma Mia!) and Jeff Nicholson (Les Miserables).

The first act was made up of hits from Phantom Of The Opera, Love Never Dies, Oliver, We Will Rock You, Guys And Dolls and Les Miserables.

The show also consisted of two special guests Samantha Barks (Les Miserables) who sung 'The Wizard And I' from Wicked in the first act and Antony Hansen (Wicked) who was due to sing 'Don't Stop Me Now' from We Will Rock You, which I was looking forward to, but ended up, for unknown reasons, singing the less impressive 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' from Jersey Boys.

Highlights from act one for me would have to be Jeff and Gina's 'Music Of The Night', 'The Wizard And I' from Samantha Barks, Scott, Jeff and Killian's two numbers from Guys And Dolls and the last ten minutes dedicated to Les Miserables.

After a short intermission act two began, opening with 'I Go To Rio'. The energy is a lot higher in the second act and the audience seem to start to let go a little bit now and more willing to openly enjoy themselves. This act pasted quicker then the first and left me wishing there was more.

Highlights for me in the second act were; Killian's charismatic and high energy cover of 'Superstar'.  Jeff's incredible rendition of 'Anthem' from Chess. Scott singing 'Maria', which I found very moving. 'Close Every Door' from Antony Hansen, making me wish I had seen him in Joseph. Another one from Jeff with 'Song Of The King', showing a very funny side. Lastly 'Memory' beautifully sung by Gina Beck.

Samantha Barks.
I really can't speak higher of Sam to the point where she could never not be perfect for me, so of course she was nothing less then that tonight. All three of her solo songs; 'The Wizard And I', 'On My Own' and 'Maybe This Time' were captivating and she was a joy to watch. I think the thing which I like and admire most about her, apart from her voice, is her incredible ability to convey such emotion and intent with a single look no matter how subtle that may be. She is a natural and gifted performer with a very long and exciting career ahead of her.

Antony Hansen.
Now I have to admit to not being too familiar with Antony. I can't really remember him on Any Dream Will Do (It was along time ago) and I haven't seen him in any shows. I wasn't too keen on any of his song choices apart from 'Close Every Door' which was a highlight for me and he sung it beautifully. He is a handsome lad and his presence draws you in. He's somebody I'll be keeping an eye out for in the future.

Scott Garnham.

Okay, where to start with Scott? Charming, funny, talented and he has such a presence on stage. I've only seen him as Feuilly in Les Miserables before so haven't really had a chance to see him in his full glory. He was my biggest welcome surprise of the evening. A true show man and amazing voice. Scott sung 'Till I hear You Sing', 'Luck Be A Lady Tonight' supported by Killian and Jeff and my personal favourite being 'Maria' from West Side Story which was perfection. I'm looking forward to what he'll be doing next. Hopefully become principle Marius in Les Miserables in June. That may just be wishful thinking though I'm afraid.

Rachel Bingham.
Like Antony I also didn't really like Rachel's song choices either, mainly because they're from shows I don't particularly like. She sung 'As Long As He Needs Me' from Oliver and 'The Winner Takes It All' from Mamma Mia! Despite this reason she almost got me liking them because it was her performing them. I have seen her in the Les Miserables ensemble a few times but like Scott I haven't been able to see her full potential until now. I think she is the full package and I hope there will be a lead somewhere in the near future for her because I definitely want to see more.

Jessie May.

Jessie is someone I wasn't familiar with in the slightest before now and wasn't likely to see with her being in Mamma Mia! (Sorry, I just really don't like the show). I'm really glad she was a part of the concert, she brought a fantastic energy to the show with her bubbly and bright attitude. Her personality really shone through during 'Somebody To Love' and she sung two duets with Killian Donnelly beautifully, 'All I Ask Of You' and 'Take Me As I Am'. Her range is fantactic and I can't wait to see her in her next show.

Killian Donnelly.
Now, to be honest Killian was one of the main reasons for me wanting to attend this in the first place. I have become quite a fan of his after seeing him in Les Miserables and wanted to see him singing something a bit different.
Killian is funny, charming and lets face facts he's VERY nice to look at. He has a great confidence and presence on stage which during group numbers drew me to look at him. He sung 'Bring Him Home' as if he was born to. I really hope within the next ten years he will make a return to Les Miserables as Valjean. 'Superstar' proved him to be just that and I would love to see him in something more 'upbeat' next or possibly as Raoul in Phantom of the Opera. His 'All I Ask Of You' was performed with such passion and devotion. He has a very bright and long career ahead of him.

Jeff Nicholson.
Jeff was mesmerizing every second he was on stage which I always find is the case when it comes to him. The thing which was plain to see is that Jeff should be the next Phantom. He embodies the role perfectly when he sung 'Phantom Of The Opera' and 'Music Of The Night'. He also performed another one of my favourite songs 'Anthem' and it is possibly the best performances of that song that I have heard. 'Song Of The King' was full of charm and charisma and the most fun of the evening. Jeff is one of my favourite actors/singers in the West End and I can't wait to see what the future holds for him.

Gina Beck.
The stage is definitely the right place for Gina. She seems at complete ease and was very confident in her performance. I was completely taken in when she sung 'Memory'. I would have liked to have heard another solo from Gina and also maybe seen her step out of her comfort zone and sung something less somber. I haven't been fortunate to see Gina in the West End yet but I will make sure that has changed by the end of the year. She has a beautiful and natural voice which I hope to hear a lot more in the future.

The evening was really a showcase for who the next bright stars of the West End will be and all bets placed on the eight artists above will definitely give you a generous return. All in all I think it was a huge success and I hope there are plans for some more concerts like this from Scott Garnham and Martin Neely in the near future.

Full Set List:

Act One.

A New World.
Phantom Of The Opera.
Music Of The Night.
All I Ask Of You.
Till I Hear You Sing.
The Wizard And I.
As Long As He Needs Me.
Can't Take My Eyes Off You.
Somebody To Love.
Fugue For Tinhorns.
Luck Be A Lady.
Own My Own.
Bring Him Home.
One Day More.

Act Two.

I Go To Rio.
Welcome To The Sixties.
Quintet (Tonight).
Maybe This Time.
The Winner Takes It All.
Prologue (Joseph).
Close Every Door.
Song Of The King.
Take Me As I Am.
This Is The Moment.
Never Forget.

Signed, JML.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Official Love Never Dies Cast Announcement.

Finally the new cast line up for Love Never Dies has been announced today. All of what I said in my previous post on this subject turns out to be correct.

Ramin Karimloo will continue as The Phantom for six more months doing six shows a week.
David Thaxton as Raoul.
Celia Graham is now principal Christine.
 Liz Robertson will stay on as Madame Giry and Haley Flaherty will take over the role of Meg Giry.

More information can be found on the official site HERE.

Ramin Karimloo announced his continuation first on Twitter calling it the "worst kept secret".

"Ah, Finally, it's official ... worst kept secret probably. I am staying now for six more months, reduced performances. Needed to ...."

"Sort out my schedule with my other project. It's a record deal but can't say more for now. This was all last minute. Very excited."
"So six shows a week until September 3. However, along with all this, @Sheytoons will continue to write and play as much as we can."

"It's all subject to change but I think, what nights I won't be doing will be Mon's and Thurs' but as always, things always change."

Tom Mutu will be cover for The Phantom when Ramin is off.

So it's nothing new or exciting. Just what was all ready guessed at.

The exciting news however comes from Ramin's record deal and more from Sheytoons, his band with Hadley Fraser. That's what I had been personally hoping for before news of Ramin staying on in LND leaked.
As a little extra here is Ramin singing 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' by Green Day at last nights Whatsonstage awards where he picked up the award for best lead actor in a musical. Congratulations!

Signed, JML.