LYMM High school students enthralled the audience of parents, friends and teachers with a ” Mesmerising and simply brilliant” performance of the Victor Hugo’s epic Les Misérables.
Many tried, and failed, to hold back tears as the curtain fell on the school edition of the hit musical. The final sold-out performance ended in a standing ovation for the impressive sixty-four strong cast of students aged twelve to eighteen.
Set in early 19th-century France, Les Misérables is the longest-running musical in the West End. Along with the twists and turns of the French revolution it tells a gripping story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption.
Performances from the cast were faultless; the key emotions of the story made all the more powerful by the sheer youth of the cast.
Zac Green, played the long suffering protagonist Jean Val Jean with intensity. Tom McFarland, in the role of young student Marius, was passionate, yet poised and convincing in his performance, playing superbly alongside his stage love, perfectly-pitched voice of Eve Shaw, in the role of Cosette.
Providing the emotional torment of unrequited love, Eponine, played by Ella Worsley and Suzie Underwood, both delivered heart rendering performances of ‘On my own’. As did Fantine, played by Aphra Proudfoot and Tabitha Ashcroft whose emotional renditions of ‘I dreamed a dream’ brought the audience to tears. Sam Anderson’s gripping performance of the ruthless policeman Javert created a powerful and sinister air to the tragic tale. And rousing the troops with passion was student Reece Connell as Gavroche.
Madame and Monsieur Thenardier, played by students Carla Samsa and Imogen Walsh, entered the stage evoking rapturous laughter with their larger than life characters. The couple expertly embraced the roles with a bit of cheek, allowing the audience a moment of humour before returning to the bleaker yet poignant moments within the story.
The chorus was superb and sang with confidence and ease; from the rousing ‘Do you hear the people sing?’, and ‘One day more’, to the mood-changing and melancholic ‘Drink with me’.
The orchestra was well led by Head of Music, Mr Dominic Starkey whose interpretations of the familiar, haunting, often spine-tingling and stirring pieces merely enhanced the sheer drama of the show.
Gwyn Williams, Headteacher, said: “I have been amazed by the talent in our school at taking on such a complex production. The staff and pupils, have produced a brilliant show that would be fit for the West End!
“This has been a great team effort, with over 100 pupils and staff involved, and will be a production to remember.”