Sunday, 23 October 2011

Les Misérables in Malmö #2

Today it was time again and I'll try to write something of a more professional review. But I'm still quite the newbie at theatre and musicals so my expectations and opinions may be somewhat faulty and well... childish.

Scenography. I was impressed with the scenography last time as well. The wolf still sticks out like a sore thumb though. I still not get that one. Although I loved the Paris scene where all the extras press together and spread their arms it somehow seemed less amazing this time. Still an impressive scene though.
I still love the bar scene. It's a drunken place with raggedy, drunken, happy people (probably the way it was until they woke up the next day, hung-over, and only to discover they'd been robbed). I hate hate hate Lovely Ladies. I hate how the extras are marionnette dolls. The misery of the scene may be kind of accurate, but weren't the whores kind of bold women? Didn't you have to "have some balls" (lacking a better expression) to be able to continue living on as a whore? Still don't like the whole cage-thing with Cosette, nor the Christmas tree shaped bushes. I found myself approving of the barricade. It seemed accurate to me that the barricade consisted of whatever sturdy material the students had been able to come across to help build it. The actual use of guns (cap guns) made it seem more real. All in all I like the scenes.

Jean Valjean. Dan Ekborg's Valjean has grown on me. Before going today I listened through the soundtrack of Les Misérables in Stockholm in 1990 and Tommy Körberg's Valjean sounds kind of, well, bored. he's boring to listen to. While Dan Ekborg puts loads of feeling into his voice. It's not just lines here. He's not just standing about saying his lines, but he's actually moving and acting and actively taking part in each scene he's in. I like his Valjean a lot. The way he's dressed also seems appropriate in my eyes.

Javert. Fred Johanson. Do I need say more? He's like a mixture of Norm Lewis and Roger Allam. With a voice similar to Norm Lewis' and facial expressions similar to Roger Allam, he makes for the ultimate Javert. He's incredible! Also his proper completely black clothes are very fitting. I like the top hat.

Fantine. It was Karolin Funke this time 'round as well. I'm still not impressed by her. Not only because of the producer obviously having a hard time finding a blond girl in Sweden (the wig bothers me), but because she looks nothing like I picture Fantine. I picture Fantine as a very beautiful fairly young girl (as beautiful as Cosette grew up to be). I'd set her maximum age at 25. The foreman is supposed to have the hots for her and I get the image that she's somewhat younger than the other girls working at the factory. They accuse her of being a whore (obviously she's more good-looking than the other girls and they're jealous). She sings of her man "taking her childhood in his stride" so she can't have been very old when she got pregnant. Karolin Funke looks somewhere between 35-40 and she's a squat woman. The clothes and the wig bother me. I don't like her at all in this production.

Mr. Thénardier. This time (I made sure of it) I got to see Peter Harryson as Thénardier and I liked him. He wasn't as lively as David Lundquist but it wasn't necessary. He got the job done and he did it well. He may be a little too old for how I picture Thénardier but otherwise I like his performance. He wasn't just sitting around, but he was moving about and he used his facial expressions and the feelings in his voice. He was perfect at the Wedding! Still don't like the ragged clothing of Thénardier, but I really liked how they dressed him in the Wedding. Also the perfect Thénardier in my book is Alun Armstrong. They got it right the first time! Matt Lucas is great too...
Mrs. Thénardier. Kajsa and Tiffany had mentioned how Marianne Mörck wasn't any good so I made sure that I got to see Evamaria Björk as Mrs. Thénardier again. She's great. I love how she's doting on Éponine and how she's pretending to be loving of Cosette when Valjean shows up. She puts on a great show. I also like how they've dressed her.

Little Cosette / Little Éponine. Same little Cosette as last time and she seemed less nervous this time. She's adorable and she sings Castle on a Cloud (I Himlens Slott) as perfectly as Mia Jenkins whom I love as Cosette. It was a different little Éponine though and she wasn't as great as the other one. The other stuck her tongue out at Cosette, teased her when she had Cosette's doll. This one behaved like a spoiled child but she only showed some kind of expression towards Cosette when Valjean put on Cosette her dress and she managed to look extremely envious and pouty. The dressing of Cosette is actually very fitting. The dressing of Éponine is less so. If she's so spoiled she should be dressed as a princess in a frilly dress like her mother.

Gavroche. Oh my my! This Gavroche was sooooo cute! I just wanted to grab him and bring him home. He was obviously nervous, but he still made a better show than the other kid. This Gavroche may have been 7 years old while the other kid we saw last time could have been about 11. His (this one's) Little People was perfect and he actually managed to shout "Listen to me!" before they all went quiet anyway. The introduction of Gavroche in Look Down (Gavroches Sång) is still too measly, but that may just be the Swedish language... He's dressed perfectly and his news paper boat hat in the beginning is extremely fitting. I cried when he died.

The students. Marius is still hot (and tall!). Philip Jalmelid makes a very convincing Marius. Enjolras (Anders Gjönnes) seemed to be less nervous this time and made a good job at being a convincing leader. I love love love Grantaire (Glenn Daniel Nilsson). I love how his playing around with his wig and being all theatrical. I've never really payed any attention to Grantaire before but this time I rather looked at him than at Enjolras. I like their clothes but I'm not that happy about the (very revealing) striped pants (they have to be stuffed with a sock or something, right?) I also like Grantaire's relationship with Gavroche! As per usual I didn't really pay any big amount of attention to Feully and Courfeyrac.

Marius. As mentioned above he's tall. He managed to hit his head in the ceiling of the cage! He's awkward but still very gentleman-y in front of Cosette. He seems the most grown up of his friends and he's very good at stepping all over Éponine's feelings as usual. He has the best clothes out of all the students. No striped pants to be seen anywhere. He's a skilled singer and he knows how to express sadness with his eyes.

Cosette. I'm not a big fan of Cosette. I do not like her in any way. Emmi Christensson, however, made a much better Cosette than Mathilda Ahnell. I don't know what else to say about her. We are always given very little of Cosette. Emmi sings well and she can act a happy lovefool very well. The feelings were present in her voice when she begged Valjean not to die yet at the end. Her suspicious looks from a distance at the Thénardiers at the wedding were very well done. The dress could have been of a different colour though. Yellow/Gold is usually not a very flattering colour for blonds.

Éponine. Same Éponine as last time. Ida Högberg sings great. Her voice is fitting of Éponine. But it's hard to feel any kind of compassion when she looks like Little My from Moominvalley in a punk rocker outfit. I hate her clothes so much more when she's all grown up than when she's little. What was the producer thinking?! A Little Fall of Rain made me cry again, though so there's no problem acting on her part.

Extras. David Lundquist (Thénardier last time) served as an extra this time. I'm seriously wondering if he shouldn't be diagnosed with something regarding too much energy. He's a clown. As soon as he steps out on stage he steals the attention from everyone else. This didn't make me like him better, if possible I now like him even less. Although he made a great job playing the bishop in the beginning! Speaking of extras. I've already mentioned that the marionnette doll whores bother me. What else bothers me is that the soldiers are dressed like traditional London soldiers. I mean, come on! Doesn't the producer know any better or did he just think those hats look cool? I also hate that all the servants are dressed in a fashion 100 years out of style. The musical takes place in the 19th century, not the 18th. No powdered wigs, okay?!

Translations. I listened through all the Swedish songs from Stockholm 1990 to know something of the songs when I got there today. Imagine my disappointment when I discover that they've changed the lyrics at a fair few places! Also mayor in Swedish has 4 syllables (borgmästaren) so when Javert sings "but monsieur maîre" it sounds very forced and wrong. Do You Hear the People Sing (Folkets Sång) sounds very weird in Swedish although the both songs basically sing the very same thing in the very same order. I don't like the Swedish version of On My Own (För mig själv) maybe because "I love him" in Swedish has 5 syllables (Jag älskar honom) but it doesn't work with the song so instead she only sings "I love" (Jag älskar). Songs I do like in Swedish are Red and Black (Rött och Svart), Drink With Me (Drick Med Mig) and One More Day (Än En Dag).

Rött - för blod från arga män
Svart - för gamla tiders hat
Rött - för sol i gryningen
Svart - för natten som blir dag


  1. Awww, Philip slog i huvudet! DET VILLE JAG SE! XD (bah så du vet hatar jag att du har sån word verification på dina comments, fett jobbiga)

  2. Tror inte det var så tydligt. Love såg det inte :P (jag hade inte sånt innan, men sen började jag få massa reklam från Anonymous så jag satte igång word verification för att inte få såna)

  3. Några riktigt intressanta detaljer du har written.Aided mig mycket, precis vad jag letade efter: D.


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