London’s Les Miserables beams into Scarborough theatre

Scarborough fans of Les Miserables didn’t need to buy a plane ticket to London to see the world’s longest running musical — all they needed was a movie ticket.

A special 25th anniversary show of Les Miserables held at London’s O2 Arena was broadcast worldwide Oct. 4.

Nicholas English, a native Londoner and avid theatre-goer who moved to Canada 32 years ago, said he appreciated the movie-like elements of the show, including different camera angles, as he was able to see details in the characters’ faces.

“This is better in a way than being there,” he said. “[The O2 Arena] is a huge place and you’d just see them in the distance as little figures. You’d just end up watching them on the big screens most of the time. It was definitely worth the $22.”

As the London crowd clapped and cheered, so did the Scarborough audience. But the Coliseum Scarborough wasn’t nearly as full as the O2 Arena. Just 95 of the 184 available tickets were sold.

Though English heard about the concert on BBC Radio, he said there should’ve been more advertising.

He wasn’t alone.

“I had never seen or heard an ad for it,” Nicole Shaw said. “I never thought I would get a chance to see it. I am a huge fan of the Jonas Brothers.”

Shaw, who was with her “Team Jonas” pals, said she knew Nick Jonas was performing in London, but only learned the concert was going to be shown in theatres when a friend told her a few days before.

Mary MacKenzie, who hopes the one-off production comes out on DVD, said a marketing opportunity was missed. She pointed out the giddy girls in the back of the theatre yelling, “Nick, we love you!” and added the turnout probably would’ve been higher if the teen heartthrob’s involvement had been better promoted.

Still, at least one Jonas fan was touched by the event.

“The concert was very moving,” Shaw said. “The emotions and feelings of the performers rubbed off — you feel their pain, joy.”

Now that she’s seen the concert, Shaw said she plans to read Les Miserables, the novel by Victor Hugo.

“I had an idea of what [the novel] was about but never truly knew about certain characters or the main story,” Shaw said. “I was thinking it would be interesting to read, but now I am further intrigued.”