The Wranglers, The Muse Theatre, 18th – 22nd February 2014
The Wranglers performed Les Misérables to a full house and received a standing ovation, many audience members were moved to tears by their powerful storytelling skills. From a youth company the performance level was outstanding with a cast full of talented singers and empathetic actors. Their attention to detail was impeccable, with every cast member adding something to the scene. Les Misérables involves passage of time and change of place which can make the plot confusing but the Wranglers portrayed this with the ageing of the lead character Jean Valjean and a simple projection showing date and setting.
Jean Valjean (Jack Higman) carried the show, telling us the story of his hardships and trials with his powerful voice. Jack Higman’s incredible range and tone were shown off to the maximum in his rendition of ‘Bring him home’. His rival Javert (Tom Davis) created the conflict needed between Javert and Jean Valjean. Tom Davis expertly acted out Javert’s range of emotions, from his hatred of Jean Valjean to his difficulty in coping with being in Jean Valjeans debt.
The lighter side of the show was provided by the Thenardier’s (Andrew Simpson and Anna Salisbury). Both were purposely over the top, ridiculous and provided the audience with plenty of innuendo.
The complexity of the plot required a large amount of scenes. The Wranglers handled this well by carefully designing their set and creating significant scene changes without the need to move too much.
All of the main characters were incredibly solid and were supported wonderfully by the entire cast. The actors were performing with a talented orchestra who handled a complicated score expertly. The show wouldn’t have been as successful if any one of these hadn’t played their part to such a high standard.