New Details on Les Mis 2012 Emerge

Sir Cameron Mackintosh's new production of Les Miserablès will be opening in either Syndey or Melbourne in 2012, followed by a national tour.

Unfortunately it appears that a number of items have been cut in order to condense the show, mostly Thénardier's bits from what we've heard. "Dog Eats Dog," for example, has been cut.

What do you think? Should CamMac be making changes to Les Mis purely to make it more accessible to first-time audiences? Let us know in the comments!

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Film...

Hopefully the release of the film will kill this idea.

Not really a fan for all of the film's casting so far (or rumours) but at least it may be closer to the original than this.

Ness Chapman's picture

Cut it up!

I say cut away. It's too long and self-important as it is. If they really are trying to make it more accessible to first-time audiences (are there even any Les Mis virgins left out there now??) then they'll need to slice that s*** up.

Changes

"Dog Eats Dog" hasn't been cut, but additional bits here and there have. Nothing major. The change that hasn't been going over too well with fans and general audiences alike is the tempo, which is now so fast, it sucks the life out of the show. The original production was basically programmed to run at a certain pace; the revolve, lighting, everything was tightly integrated with the story and action on stage and audiences had time to absorb the plot-heavy goings ons. Now everything rushes by at such a volatile rate, it tends to become overwhelming.

There are new orchestrations for most of the show. They're fine but some fans dislike the way they give the show a whole new feel and many scenes that used to be beautiful are paper-thin sounding or overly loud. But most of all, the original John Cameron orchestration was absolutely thrilling and if it ain't broken, it makes no sense to try to fix it. While the new orchestration isn't horrible and still reminiscent of the original, iconic sound, it isn't even close to being an improvement in any way. It just isn't worth throwing away something that has worked for 25 years for something nowhere nearly as beautiful and effective.

The staging is very different from the original. There's no revolve and the stage is small. There are projections and use of brighter color. There is more detail and settings are spelled out instead of suggested as in the more abstract original. A lot of people like it, some don't. It really depends on individual taste. Personally, I will always love the way the original focused on the story and did a brilliant job of suggesting locale while being stunningly evocative at the same time. I will also miss the large, imposing barricade. The one used in the new production is a shadow of the original.

In the end, it's a production that is much, much smaller and cheaper to produce and while that isn't a bad thing, one has to wonder why, after 25 years of universal acclaim of the original production would they want to showcase the musical in a less effective production? Especially now that SuBo has turned a lot of attention towards the musical and has brought many curious people who've never seen it in, you'd think they'd want to show it off in its best form. It seems they want to capitalize on the exposure and make it even more profitable that it already was. It made millionaires out of its producer and writers. Guess that wasn't good enough and so the show suffers and audiences are short changed, but pockets are getting fatter and so it goes...

Changes

I get so sick of brilliant musicals being cut and messed with to appeal to 'first time audiences'and people who 'don't like the music' of musicals!!

My biggest complaint is altering the music so that songs are 'melodically spoken' instead of letting the power of the voice carry you away. This was done in the most recent adaption of Miss Saigon at the Lyric theare and was very disappointing.

The power of the story is told through music and song. Change what you like about the scenery but please, please don't mess with the most powerful instrument of all, the voices.

Definately no cuts required!

Definately no cuts required! The entire production from start to finish is an absolute master piece. It would be like taking body parts, it is not required, the piece is too great and stands alone. I think Mr Mackintosh needs an identity check up. Please do not mess with such superb greatness, it is as one of the songs states, "Heaven sent..."

Love my theatre!
A
drian V.

Leave Les Mis the way it is!!

Leave Les Mis the way it is!!

Les Mis

I've seen it many times in both Australia and the UK and it should absolutely be left completely as it is with nothing cut out or speeded up.

Ashley Weidner's picture

Creatives

What about the original creatives who have been left out of this process? How do we feel about them? Is it as much their show as Mackintosh's?

 Ashley Weidner | Social Media dude

socialguru@theatrepeople.com.au

Lol I think Cam Mac can do

Lol I think Cam Mac can do what he likes.. He's not going to read your discussion on it and then decide.

accessible?

Make it more accessible? No cut it, speed it up to get it under 3 hours so they don't have to pay overtime and penalites more like it.
Saw it in London and it was just so wrong

Agree

@Rick - Just saw the London production at Queen's Theatre too. Hubby saw it for the first time and loved it. I thought the show was still good but was also not the happiest camper with the changes they made. Most obvious ones to be were cutting/moving parts of little Cosette's and Gavroche's songs. They also seemed to change the lyrics here and there and I felt like they "dumbed it down" a little. Will wait and see what happens to the Australian production, if they ever make it down!