Posts Tagged ‘patrice tipoki


Les Miserables


Les Miserables

Cameron Mackintosh

QPAC Lyric Theatre

November 13 2015 – January 17 2016


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward



Les Miserables – Cameron Mackintosh’s Acclaimed New Production – is outstanding, boasting a spectacular new design enhanced greatly by its cinematic elements, and a new cast that makes each character their own, retelling Victor Hugo’s epic story for a brand new generation of theatregoers.


The hype surrounding this production also showcases the savvy use of social media following the release of the movie musical to inspire a new audience to “Join the revolution” with its handles and hashtags cleverly included with tickets and in performers’ bios in the program. This new Les Mis is one example of the talent – both onstage and off – living up to the hype created by a sensational social media campaign.




The legendary musical by Boublil and Schonberg now comes with a re-orchestrated score (Christopher Jahnke, Stephen Metcalfe & Stephen Brooker) conducted at lightning speed by Geoffrey Castles. I have to say, I miss the siren’s wail beneath Javert’s, “Could it be he’s some old jailbird that the tide now washes in?”, but that’s just nostalgia. It’s a rich, full sound, beautifully realised. The pace of it doesn’t help us to hear all of the lyrics though, which are sung so quickly at times as to be indiscernible, even for those who have grown up knowing the show by heart.




Nevertheless, there are some breathtaking moments in between the breakneck efforts to move through the three-hour tale before new audiences start to fidget. They don’t, at least not on opening night, and I wish we could continue to trust that the material will hold the audiences’ attention. I’m not against updating anything (I only mildly miss the revolve, such is the spectacular effect of the newly designed gliding, joining and separating imposing set pieces), but it does seem that there’s a fear of inattentiveness behind this move. Particularly in Act 1 we barely get a chance to take a breath and contemplate the gravity of each situation.




The stars of the show, and those able to most expertly blend the best of traditional and contemporary approaches to the acting and vocal demands of their roles are Simon Gleeson (Jean Valjean) and Hayden Tee (Javert), both in superb voice and perfectly matched in their strength and subtle gesture. The battle between real life and the law is made completely believable by these two, and a couple of extended silences between them demonstrate the quiet awe of an appreciative audience as much as the performers’ focus and command of the stage.




The cast is uniformly excellent, with standout performances from Patrice Tipoki (Fantine in all her fragility and stubborn strength) and in her professional debut, Kerrie Anne Greenland (Eponine). Luke Joslin’s Grantaire adds an extra strain of compassion to proceedings with a beautifully developed big brother relationship with Gavroche (on opening night, we delight in Nicholas Cradock’s cheeky performance), and Drink With Me happens more organically than ever before, making it the ideal gentle prelude (rather than the track we tend to skip on the CD) to Gleeson’s tender, heartfelt and lightly soaring rendition of Bring Him Home, which is an absolute triumph.




Appropriately attempting to steal the show are Trevor Ashley and Lara Mulcahy as the Thenadiers, included for the undercurrent of evil intention as much as for the comic relief brought by their vulgar characters and hilarious antics. Master of the House showcases not only the pair’s ability to manipulate the comedy necessary for a bit of light relief, but also the ensemble’s expert treatment of their individual roles. Billy Bouchier has a lovely moment towards the end of the scene, upon realising that a newcomer has swiped his drink. His reaction is priceless, and testament to the attention to detail evident, not just vocally but in terms of every person on stage being integral to the storytelling. Whether entertaining moments like this are due to the talent on stage or the new directors (Lawrence Connor & James Powell) is impossible to say. The updated One Day More march is a disappointment though, and should never have been allowed to happen. It’s been simplified and loses its original powerful visual effect; a reminder that newer is not always better.




But Paule Constable’s haze enhanced precision lighting, Matt Kinley’s detailed set and image design (inspired by Victor Hugo’s paintings) and Mick Potter’s soundscape combine to create the cinematic atmosphere we have come to expect from the blockbuster musicals. Despite Javert’s suicide not translating quite as well as it should do (I was expecting more haze, more theatrical magic…), the technology comes together brilliantly during the preceding sewer scenes.


There’s no doubt that this Les Mis is the biggest and best reincarnation of a classic musical yet.


It might not fully satisfy the purists and returning patrons but the updated design and so much of the talent in this Les Mis is too good to miss, and new audiences will continue to lap it up. Don’t be the one to have to admit that you missed it! If you need another reason – or two – to see this production, make it the chance to catch Patrice Tipoki as Fantine before she joins the West End cast and Hayden Tee as Javert before he heads to Broadway. These are the roles that will establish Tipoki and Tee as our next international “overnight” successes.




Michael Cassel Group:


Simon Gleeson, who won a Helpmann Award for his heartrending portrayal as Jean Valjean, will lead the production for seasons in Manila and Singapore from March next year. Simon will star alongside Rachelle Ann Go, direct from the West End production, and Earl Carpenter from Broadway.


Adding to this excitement Hayden Tee will take his incredible portrayal of Javert to New York where he will assume the role from February in the Broadway production. Hayden has firmly staked his claim on Valjean’s lifelong antagonist Javert, earning him a Green Room Award and a Theatre People Pro Choice Award for ‘Best Individual Performance’.


Patrice Tipoki will also be packing her bags and heading to London to star as Fantine in the West End production from February. She will bring her much loved “I Dreamed a Dream” to the production, which just celebrated its 30th Anniversary, until May when she will then join the production in Singapore.




See Hayden Tee on the Gold Coast!



Well, this is awesome! Hayden Tee, who will share the stage with our good friends, Patrice Tipoki (Fantine) and Simon Gleeson (Valjean), when he steps into Javert’s shoes for the new Cameron Mackintosh 25th Anniversary Les Miserables, comes to the Gold Coast first!





Born in New Zealand and trained at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), Hayden Tee is acclaimed for his work as Performer, Director and Recording Artist in Theatre, Concert and Cabaret throughout New Zealand, Australia, the U.K and the U.S. 

Since locating to the USA in 2010 Hayden has appeared in a number of productions including originating the role of Jack Worthing in the new Gordon/Gruska musical Being Earnest, playing Edward Rutledge in 1776, Cinderellas Prince/ Wolf inInto the Woods (Director Susan V. Booth, Alliance Theater co), King Arthur in Camelot (dir. Ted Pappas, Pittsburgh Public Theatre), Freddy Einsford Hill In My Fair Lady (dir. Charles Repole, North Shore Music Theatre) and Captain Hook / Mr Darling in Peter Pan (dir. Michael Lichtefeld). Hayden recently played the role of Jack in the new musical version of The Importance of Being Earnets titled Being Earnest written by Paul Gordon and Jay Gruska at the New Works festival in CA under the direction of Robert Kelly.

Hayden appeared as Marius in the 20th anniversary West-end production of Les Miserables (dir. John Caird / Trevor Nunn, London UK), Thomas Andrews in Titanic: The Musical (dir. John Diedrich, Sydney AUS) (A.T Award nom.), Professor Bhaer in Little Women The Musical, (dir; Stuart Maunder, York Theatre, Kookaburra, AUS) (Glugg Award), Lt. Joe Cable inSouth Pacific (dir. Joanne Robinson, Adelaide AUS)(A.T.G Award nom), the tours of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (dir. Darren Yap, AUS), Songs for a New World (dir. Peter Cousens, AUS), The Wizard of Oz (dir. Nancye Hayes, AUS) and created the role of Cuddlepie in the workshop of The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (dir. Neil Armfield, Sydney AUS).

Hayden will appear at Tyalgum Hall on Friday May 2 and Saturday May 3 under the musical direction of Nigel Ubrihien, whom we know from his appearances at the Noosa Long Weekend Festival!


Enjoy a pre-show dinner at Flutterbies Cafe, and stroll down to Tyalgum Hall for an 8pm show.


Dinner and show packages available for just $75 (show only $55)


BUT WAIT! There’s more…

You can also catch Hayden when he appears as the Celebrity Guest Artist for The Greenroom Project, which returns to The Arts Centre Gold Coast on Monday May 5. The Greenroom Project is Australia’s first live cabaret talk show, with host, Matt Ward. Jam packed with on the couch interviews, celebrity guest artists, industry news and gossip, musical performances an open mic segment and showcasing 5 of the hottest up and coming musical theatre and cabaret artists around! All accompanied by musical director Brad Rush.



A Little Night of Music – Songs From the Silver Screen



A Little Night Music – Songs from the Silver Screen


Flinders Performance Centre

Friday March 21 2014






Well THAT happened! WOW!



On Friday night at Flinders Performance Centre we welcomed some of Australia’s top musical theatre talent for A Little Night of Music – Songs From the Silver Screen for MontroseAccess.

Thanks to Patrice Tipoki, Simon Gleeson, Amanda Harrison, Chelsea Gibb, Mark Vincent and Laura Tipoki.

Thanks to our host, HOT91FM’s Todd Widdicombe, our SM Guy Harrison, Venue Manager, Sarah Sullivan, and thanks to everybody who managed to get a ticket and support MontroseAccess.

IMG_2138 IMG_2139


We heard songs from the movie soundtracks of Frozen, Ghost, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Cabaret, Moulin Rouge and more! And the glorious thing about a show like this is that it’s so good you get that lovely feeling, wishing it would go on forever.

But there is NOTHING like the calibre of this night happening again on the Sunshine Coast until MEOW MEOW returns on April 5 at The J, Noosa. SEE YOU THERE! And in the meantime, I hope you booked your tix for Patrice and Simon’s Les Miserables because the rest are about to sell out!

Thanks to Leanne Liesegang and  MontroseAccess for having us along for the fabulous ride this year!






Special Guest Musical Theatre stars appear at BYTE & Matthew Flinders

The Sunshine Coast has welcomed some of Australia’s top musical theatre stars, with special events for students at Buderim Youth Theatre of Excellence (BYTE) and Matthew Flinders Anglican College.




Yesterday, Chelsea Gibb and Amanda Harrison appeared at Buderim Memorial Hall for a discussion with Robyn Ernst’s BYTE Master Class students about the performing arts industry in Australia and overseas.


These two triple threats were relaxed and chatty, as they sat,  swinging their legs, on the edge of the stage and talked about how they got their start in the industry, what it’s like to be “stayers” in the industry and what differentiates a dancer from a “mover”. They discussed what it is that makes it all worthwhile, how to fit a family and the demands of being a mother into a real working career in the performing arts, and shared some valuable tips for auditions.


Run up a hill until your heart is beating SO fast and stop and sing. That’s what it’s like to sing when you’re nervous, with your heart beating that fast…You have to squish it all down! – Amanda


Gaining experience, skills and work outside of the arts industry is vital to sustaining a career in musical theatre, at least in this country, and so is having a close-knit group of like-minded friends to help you through the lows and celebrate the highs. Amanda noted that so many of the friends come from wherever you’ve studied and of course, from the productions in which you’ve been involved.




Both Chelsea and Amanda mentioned their concerns over the rise and rise of the Internet during their careers, and the damage that heartless, careless critics and bloggers can do to artists and to the industry. They explained very well that as artists they expect support and honest feedback. Chelsea admitted she doesn’t mind if an individual doesn’t love her interpretation of a character, or her tonal quality, but doesn’t see the need for a reviewer to resort to personal jibes and attacks. Amanda agreed and both advised staying away from what’s written about the show you’re in while you’re in it!


Today Matthew Flinders Anglican College students will have the opportunity to attend a Q&A session at Flinders Performance Centre during their lunch time.


Chelsea and Amanda will be joined by Simon Gleeson, Patrice Tipoki, Mark Vincent and Laura Tipoki. Patrice and Laura Tipoki are MFAC Alumni and Patrice joined us last year, with Lucy Durack and David Harris for a similar special event.


Patrice Tipoki_colour


If you haven’t booked yet for A Little Night of Music – Songs from the Silver Screen you can do so HERE



With this calibre of talent on stage together AT THE SAME TIME EVEN there really isn’t anywhere else you should be!



Brisbane and Gold Coast friends, are y’all coming up for this? IF NOT WHY NOT!?






Don’t miss A Little Night of Music – Songs from the Silver Screen




Starring Patrice Tipoki, Simon Gleeson, Amanda Harrison, Chelsea Gibb & Mark Vincent




At Flinders Performance Centre in Buderim for ONE NIGHT ONLY enjoy an evening of your favourite film songs, hosted by HOT91FM’s Todd Widdicombe and performed by some of the brightest stars of Australian musical theatre for MontroseAccess, supporting children with physical disabilities.


Amanda Harrison_colour


Flinders Performance Centre

Stringybark Road, Buderim


Show starts 7:30pm


Bookings or call 5477 2964


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