Last week, theatre-goers in Oundle were treated to a truly epic ensemble of theatre making as the school’s production of Les Mis was performed to sell out audiences across five nights.
Drama teacher, Matt Burlington commented, “The young cast and crew created theatrical magic as they transported us from French chain gangs in 1815 to the failed Paris uprising of 1832 and beyond.
It is difficult enough to sustain emotion on stage, yet alone to do so powerfully enough to gain a similar response from an audience, yet time and again, the cast of Les Mis pulled on the audience’s heart-strings, drawing tears from almost everyone.”
The finale of ‘Do You Hear the People Sing’ united the cast in song and passion with a ferocity and commitment which was both remarkable and thrilling. The fact that they were evoking the deaths of those not so much older than themselves made this a truly moving and fitting finale which brought the audience to their feet at every performance.
The structure of the musical gives marvellous opportunities for a number of soloists to demonstrate their potential. George Cobb (18) as Jean Valjean sustained his energy, his character and his singing voice consistently throughout each evening.
Credit also needs to be given to those backstage with every costume change and scene change appearing smooth and effortless whilst every sound effect, lighting cue (of which there were over 300) and follow-spot being in place and in time with every beat and every chord. The seamless change of musicians across the two acts was an enormous affirmation of their skill and professionalism.
Matt concluded, “It is a brave team who take on the production of such an enormous musical, with such a huge reputation and with such demands in every area of the stage. The impact on those fortunate enough to have seen it will be significant and long-lasting, whilst the heroic contributions of all of those involved will stay with them for a life-time. A rare achievement indeed.”