Dear West End Producer: What are the odds of a drag Fantine? (I’m quite pale)
What are the odds of a Drag Fantine?
(I’m quite pale)
— Connie Orff (@connie_orff) January 2, 2018
My dear – 2018 is the year! It’s about time there was a drag Fantine. How marvellous! Les Miserables has been running for more than 32 years – something new is needed to keep the momentum going (although it still pretty much sells out every night).
I’ve always thought a slightly croaky, deeper version of I Dreamed a Dream would work perfectly – in fact some coughing and manly sounding notes would show how weak and lost Fantine is. In regards to being quite pale – that’s absolutely what is needed. A pale Fantine helps with her ‘ill’ look, and if we couple that with a marvellously matted and greasy drag wig, the look will be complete.
Of course, you will be required to audition with everyone else – and on those occasions I suggest you really show your true drag skills.
It’s time the entire cast of Les Mis was in drag – a kind of RuPaul’s drag cast. Perhaps we could do a TV series
In fact, now you mention it, I think it’s time the entire cast of Les Mis was in drag – a kind of RuPaul’s drag cast. And perhaps we could do a TV series of the whole audition process, with all the casting directors and Michael Ball shouting things such as ‘That’s too high’, ‘I can see your balls’, ‘Remember my transvestite Marius? Do it like that, dear!’. The possibilities are endless.
We could have cross-dressing women as Jean Valjean and Javert (Ruthie Henshall and Kerry Ellis), a lovely little lady as Gavroche (perfect for Janette Krankie), and a rotund man with an opera sound as Cosette (I’ve always thought Alfie Boe should try that. He’s done Jean Valjean enough times now, dear). And the Thenardiers would be a brilliant double drag act – like two Ugly Sisters. I can’t wait to tell Victor Hugo about this!
And as for the songs: Who Am I would have a whole new meaning – am I a man or a woman? Look Down would be a brilliant anthem, as the cross-dressing convicts challenge the audience to ‘look down’ and discern their gender. Lovely Ladies would be performed entirely by transvestites. Turning would by a moving song about the transition of turning from a man to a woman. And who could resist a deep, husky version of the moving words “To love another person is to see the face of god” (the audience will cry like never before).
So my dear – the next stage for you is to contact the casting department and tell them West End Producer said you have to be seen for Fantine (sending a little video of yourself singing I Dreamed a Dream if you really want to stand out). The competition is tough, and now we’ve opened it up to drag artists you will be up against some very well-known performers – I know Jonathan Pryce has had his eye on that part for years.
In a time of diversity and inclusivity your suggestion ticks all the right boxes. ‘Les Miserables: the Drag Version’ would garner a whole new audience. Good luck dear, and I’ll see you in the show very soon.
This week’s question was submitted by @Connie_orff. Send questions to your dear agony aunt via Twitter @westendproder