WBOS Youtheatre have proved themselves to be a formidable force to be reckoned with after their blistering production of Les Miserables.
Undoubtedly this is a challenging show for any group to tackle, and also rarely performed, as it is only available to school and youth groups. None of this seemed to phase the more than competent team. Cast and crew united to deliver one of the most stunning productions I have seen on the amateur circuit. The word amateur does not even touch this show; the performers were beyond their years with their portrayals of these iconic characters packed with passion, accompanied with vocals that thrilled the ear.
We are quickly introduced to the ruthless Javert played with unquestionable confidence by Callum Rogers, between him and Aidan Cutler’s Valjean they were a superb battling duo. Another fantastic duo was the comedic partnership between Josh Edge and Lucy Pritchard, which sparkled; they did absolute justice as the Thernardier’s. Master of the House was an absolute highlight of the show, garnering many a laugh from the audience.
The youngest members also proved themselves to be more than competent in the limelight, with excellent performances from Will Foggin and Arabella Yardley as Gavroche and Little Cosette.
Special mentions also to Dan Hardy and Jessica Williams as Marius and Cosette, Alastair Winning as Enjolras and Charlotte Edmunds as Eponine. Each captured their characters especially well, however, it was Aidan Cutler’s Valjean and Nav Chahal’s Fantine that stole the show. It was not only their utterly beautiful voices, but they each delivered a performance of thorough conviction; I’m more than sure you will find them both treading the West End boards in years to come. Both dazzled as they performed the signature songs of the show I Dreamed A Dream and Bring Him Home.
The sheer amount of time and effort that has gone into this production is more than admirable. You have to pinch yourself and remember how young these performers are.
Director Ben Cole and Musical Director Jack Hopkins are both previous Youtheatre members and are shining examples of the talent that has come out of this group. The direction is slick, with no falters or pauses and the musical direction is nothing short of sensational. The spine-tingling harmonies are a credit to Hopkins and the brilliant ensemble, particularly in At The End of the Day and One Day More.
WBOS Youtheatre’s motto is ‘an amateur company with professional standards’. No truer words can sum up this production of Les Miserables. Parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles will be glowing with pride after seeing this performance and rest-assured this reviewer cannot wait to see what WBOS Youtheatre has in store next, because there is no doubt that this is the talent of tomorrow.
Congratulations one and all.
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