THEATRE REVIEW: Les Gloriables ★★★★

Les Gloriables
The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol
Tuesday 19th - Saturday 23rd March

We all know the story of Jean Valjean, the bread-stealing man, otherwise known as 24601, and who is the protagonist of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, but for Gloria Delaneuf her version is full more of the real emotion in her version of this 'life-changing' piece, full with huge laughs and clever writing with a big chunk of audience participation... and nudity.

As a huge fan of Spitz & Co's previous productions, Gloriator and Glorilla, newcomer Lise Boucon, who steps in the role as Gloria following Pauline Morel, is an incredible addition to this English/French comedy duo, with Susie Donkin as ever making the perfect Josephine Cunningham in this final segment of their trilogy, leaving the best one till last, with a fantastically design and multi-purpose set from Sue Condie.

In terms of the premise, Josephine as ever is the sweet friend and comedy partner to the ever effortlessly stunning and stylish Gloria, who has been inspired by Victor Hugo's creation to create what is essential a one-woman show, but hidden deep down is the underlying tone of a broken relationship which is hinted throughout with her ex Jake, with the payoff at the end of the production one to watch out for, leaving the audience roaring with laughter.

It's a testimont to this companies previous work just how well the slickness works but also this reflects right to the awkward silence and pauses that Donkin gives with such conviction that I have had fond memories of as Josephine. Following the companies journey throughout this trilogy has been a real joy, and to see the audience especially in this performance, who get to partake in the form of protest placards given at the beginning and judged by Gloria at the climax of the piece, is a real joy and just proves how far Spitz and Co have come to include us as the audience as a part of their story.

Overall, Les Gloriables is a perfect and fitting tribute to Hugo's masterpiece with careful precision in characterisation that has seen these characters travel on a journey together from Gloriator and Glorilla to end up at this resting point, with us as the audience behind them at every step of the way. Merci Spitz and Co.


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