Original Musical by: Alain Boubil & Claude-Michel Schonberg
Directed by: Mione van der Merwe
Produced by: Haven Tsang & Sharon White
Conductor: Jim Kulpa
Musical Director: Raelene Dufresne
Synopsis: Les Miserables is based on the book of the same name by Victor Hugo. It’s considered to be one of the most loved musicals of all time. It follows the ex-convict Jean Valjean, who was released from prison after 19 years, for stealing a loaf of bread. The story details his path of redemption as he and his adopted daughter,Cosette, find themselves entangled with the French revolution.
This was my first Doha Players production, I went there not knowing what to expect. Could they bring life to my favorite musical of all time? Well, I was pleasantly surprised.
Set, Make-Up & Costumes:
I don’t want to write a long winded description about the barricade or the Master of the House scenes as they were nothing short of spectacular. The attention to details made those iconic scenes come to life. But it was the smaller scenes that stunned me, particularly Fantine’s scene (played by Catherine Forde) with the “Lovely Ladies”. The stage was dark with the exception of lanterns held by the ladies as they tried to coerce Fantine into joining them. The use of lanterns made the scene even more haunting and heartbreaking.
Make-up and costumes were very realistic, I could hear an audience member next to me whispering that Fantine looked terribly gaunt and thin, which shows that the make-up artists did their job.
Where do I begin? The children who were as professional as the adults? The chorus that brought us to tears? Or the main cast who disappeared into their roles? It’s really hard to pick a favorite scene or to list names because the cast really did an outstanding job both vocally and acting wise. I was very surprised at the talent that is hidden in Doha, it’s a well-known fact that the Les Miserables songs are very challenging to perform, and to be able to do that while still acting realistically is not an easy feat.
I did not expect to be brought to tears after watching the movie and concerts so many times, but I did. It was a beautiful show that deserved the standing ovation it got, and I can’t wait to see more of Doha Players productions.