REVIEW: THE MISERABLES (Just The Tonic at the Caves) ★★★
August 31, 2016  //  By:   //  Edinburgh, Fringe, Reviews  //  Comments are off

MiserablesWe have all had a job that we’ve hated, a job that pays the bills but slowly chips away at your sanity. If you haven’t well then, lucky you (said through gritted teeth). The Miserables is the story of that feeling. Set to the tune of Les Miserablés.

The songs are the best bit about the show, and Nicola Masters’ music is clever and very funny. However, I felt like at the beginning, the actors relied too much on the intelligent humour of the lyrics and therefore we lost the sense of individual characters in a story and instead began to take the show as just a parody. Thus, this made the scenes difficult and caused the energy to drop a fair amount throughout the show. They improve as we begin to warm to the characters a bit but I was looking forward to the next song constantly as I hadn’t yet gotten into the story, which made the show lack momentum at times.

When Spencer Lee Osborne entered as Mr Williams, the General Manager, the energy immediately stepped up. I really warmed to his character and I found myself feeling sorry for the lonely workaholic. He doesn’t rely on the lyrics alone, using his physicality to pull the comedy to it’s full potential. He makes the most of the role and by doing this I began to become invested in all three characters story as I felt more involved.

While there isn’t a particular arc to the story the songs are great and the audience were evidentially a Les Mis loving crowd, so the jokes land well. We get a sense of the characters and the mundanity of their life, but as the show continues to develop, a bit more emphasis on the story may help lift the energy a bit, yet it does make for a very enjoyable show.

Reviewed by Kara Taylor Alberts (@karaalberts)