Last night we were spoiled for choice for TV watching, a very unusual circumstance in the multi-channel wasteland of TV watching. First there was a tape delayed quarter-final of the F.A. Cup of Manchester United playing Arsenal. At the same time there was the semi-final of the Canadian men's curling championship and a four hour extraordinary presentation of Les Miserables on the PBS station. And all this on a night when the clocks were to go forward one hour.
After watching the soccer game, we watched Les Mis. Despite the pledge breaks, it was really a remarkable performance. The show was filmed in London, England. (I have to specify, England since the curling was taking place in London, Ontario.) The Les Mis venue was the O2 stadium, a huge show case that sat 23 000 people. It was spectacular. As the presenters said, over and over again during the interminable pledge breaks, it was THE definitive performance of this show on its 25th anniversary.
It was perhaps twenty years ago that we saw Les Mis live in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This was the year after my mother died and the year that my father, on his own, came to visit us in Red Lake, Ontario. We took him with us to Winnipeg, a six hour car trip from Red Lake, to see Les Mis. We all really enjoyed the show. My Dad ruminated about his experience and said, "Not bad for the colonies."
For twenty years that comment sat in my mind. But, after last night's performance, I can now appreciate what he was saying.