BWW Review: LES MISERABLES at TSB Showplace New Plymouth
Accolades to all those involved in this fresh 'take' of a well known and much-loved show.I was fortunate to be a member of the audience for the first two performances. I know this musical like the back of my hand, having been involved in five productions since 1995 and just knew that New Plymouth Operatic Society was going to keep me engaged. I was not disappointed and I was thrilled to be part of an audience that was treated to the 'wow' factor in every single scene.
I was certainly inquisitive about how Director Warren Bates would use all the staging elements he had available to him. He proved himself to be the quintessential master in the way that he crafted this production. Highlights for me were the battle scenes, musically and visually. The Paris scene is truly world class and jaw-dropping.
I was fully immersed right from the very first scene.
The Consortium set from 25 years ago was perfectly married with a LED screen that replaces the traditional cyclorama, brings a look to Community Theatre and to Theatre in NZ that is world class.
The Orchestra under the Baton of Adam Jasinski, supported the hard-working and committed cast that had been well schooled by Phillipa Drinkwater.
I understand and appreciate what it takes to get performers doing and feeling all that was seen onstage last night. Performers who have day jobs, and do this out of passion. It was glaringly obvious how hard this cast has worked; they gave it their heartfelt all.
It's difficult to name names because the success lies in the collaboration of all those involved. However, I feel compelled to highlight the performances from Maria Mosquera playing Fantine, Ben Paterson' Marius, and Mark Leuthard playing Thenadier who is a local favourite having graced that stage in many guises.
I can't miss out Justin Clunton-Gohdes playing the Bishop of Digne. This is a poignant cameo that was performed to perfection.
Oh and a special mention must go to the standout performance for this reviewer; Tem Hodson's Javert. Tem brought everything to the role it needed; stature, vocals and performance quality.
The TSB Showplace is a fabulous theatre and NPOS 25th Anniversary Consortium version of the much loved Les Miserables is a special night out.
New Plymouth Operatic Society presents
TSB Theatre, TSB Showplace, Taranaki
July 26th - August 18th