Don't miss Les Miserables
There are moments when you think how easy it would be to turn Les Miserables into a spoof. The layers of personal degradation and social ills laid before us are so relentless that whereas most musicals have a tragic bit somewhere, this one has one happy bit amidst the gloom. Having tried and failed to navigate Victor Hugo’s enormous novel some time ago I wasn’t sure quite what to expect; I could imagine the story as a grim 6 part tv drama perhaps but a musical? The songs I had heard from it out of context seemed meandering. While I clearly don’t find the results as emotional as some of the people in the cinema did, the surprise comes on two levels. Firstly, how effectively it pares down the labyrinthine qualities of the novel to give both a social and personal focus, second just how well those songs do work in context.