First quarter of 2022 at Milton Keynes Theatre goes out with a bang with the arrival of the UK & Ireland Tour of Les Miz

People can be quick to throw around compliments when it comes to theatre, I mean, it’s always deserved, of course. It takes a great deal of skill, hard graft and dedication to dazzle live audiences with performing arts.

But understandably, sometimes you might get a bit immune to hearing the words phenomenal, outstanding or brilliant when it comes to show reviews.

But also understandably, once in a while, there’s a show that comes by that you need to know, that no-one is over exaggerating, not one word is overextending and not one ticket deserves to go unsold.

Les Misérables or Les Mis / Les Miz / Les Miserables (it goes by many names now) is a musical based on a 19th novel by Victor Hugo. A 19th century French novel, no less. About a period of time in France where there is political unrest and some of the poorest living conditions imaginable. And this is where we meet the characters of Les Mis.

Jean Valjean’s story is the guardian story soul in Les Mis but rather than stand alone, it softly cradles all the others stories together. It’s most beautiful because life is not just your story but the ones around you who share it too. Les Mis captures that beautifully.

And somewhere between the hypnotic, heartbreakingly moving music from Claude-Michel Schönberg and Cameron Mackintosh’s sheer touch of brilliance, you leave Les Mis forever changed.

Currently on a UK & Ireland Tour and simultaneously on stage in London’s West End, Les Mis has pulled into Milton Keynes Theatre for a huge run of nearly four weeks!

Last night I was extremely fortunate to be invited along to the Gala Press Night and it was a hella special evening.

Red carpets and seas of red white and blue balloons everywhere and there was enough fizz to believe we were in France for real. There were canapés and a pianist keeping us entertained. It was very, very lovely. And then it was show time.

Here’s my view from the stalls in row g seats 5 and 6. It offered an outstanding view of the stage. Note the Victor Hugo artwork at the back of the stage! 😍

This production that is currently in Milton Keynes and is touring across the UK and Ireland. It’s a slightly more stripped back version, if you’ve seen it before you might notice, but I couldn’t tell.. (OK, there is a few simpler stage logistics BUT you are too busy gawping at the show’s brilliance to notice or sniffing to notice).

The talent, the cast is a mix of experienced Les Mis veteran professionals and some incredible young performers who are making their professional debuts in this production. And what a debut they are giving us.

I was lucky enough to catch Jean Valjean performed by the understudy Will Barratt too, who I’m feeling very lucky to have seen. He was fantastic.

The magic of the staging, whilst slightly simpler, retained that mesmerising smoggy Paris vibe and impressive visual effects.

Les Misérables translates as The Miserable Ones and if you saw me by the end of the second half, you’d believe the title to be spot on for an audience review as much as a show title. I was bawling my eyes out. 😂

But this isn’t just some great greek tragedy, there’s incredible love, family and a gust for fighting for injustice to be found in Les Mis. Hell there’s even fantastic comedy too. 👇🏻😂

It’s that thick fabric of what makes life; the hardships, the love, the friendships, the justices and the injustices – and how we face them. All surrounded by the existential-ness that encompasses all of us as we journey through life.

That is Les Mis. It’s what draws you in, makes you love, makes you break, heals you and changes you.

This is an incredible joy for Milton Keynes to be home to such an amazing musical for such a long run. If you can, see it. I promise you won’t regret it.

Les Misérables is at Milton Keynes Theatre Tuesday 26 April – Saturday 21 May 2022

Tickets were kindly gifted by Milton Keynes Theatre but they have zero control over what I post, or say about the performance – that’s all me! Thank you for your support. 🖤