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Musical Director overwhelmed by Les Misérables’ reception

March 29th, 2018
Toby, in his first music performance, was outstanding as Jean Valjean.
Christian (centre) played the part of Marius with Matthew (left) and Jemima as the Thénardiers.
A scene of slaughter at the barricade in the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools production of Les Misérables School Edition.

The Musical Director of Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools’ outstanding Les Misérables production is delighted the cast’s talents have been appreciated by so many.

More than 1,000 people watched the sell-out musical over three nights at The Blake Theatre and it has been hailed by many as the schools’ best production in more than 50 years.

A series of short video clips from the show, posted on the schools’ social media channels, have now received many thousands of hits combined.

The young people from Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth School for Girls defied their ages and turned in a production of which to be proud.

Miss Sarah Fowler, a Music teacher at Monmouth School for Boys, co-directed the Les Misérables School Edition production with Philip Griffin, and was also the Musical Director.

“The reaction on social media was overwhelming and made me feel very proud of the whole cast; it was brilliant to see their talents appreciated by so many,” said Miss Fowler.

“The production went extremely well and was very well received by everyone who saw it.”

“It was a testament to the hard work, commitment, dedication and talent of everyone involved and we are all exceptionally proud of all the pupils who took part.

“When I staged the production 10 years ago, I was the Musical Director, working with an experienced cast from an amateur youth company.

“For the majority of those on stage this time around, this was their first taste of performing in a musical, and singing/acting in front of an audience.

“This was a completely different challenge on so many levels, including organising the set, costumes and lights. But it was a fantastic experience.”

Toby played Jean Valjean and had an assuredness and lightness of touch that made the character’s age transformations believable.

Angelika gave a blistering performance of the tragic Fantine  and her range and acting ability was pitch perfect.

There were other fabulous turns from Matthew and Jemima as the Thénardiers; Oli as Javert; Christian as Marius; Alana as Eponine; Carys as Cosette; Luke as Enjolras and Henry, who sparkled as Gavroche.

The music was ably provided by an orchestra of 15, including young cellist Anna and the two schools’ Directors of Music, Mr David Lawson and Mrs Amy Clouter.

Miss Fowler added: “It was a privilege to work with so many talented and enthusiastic young people and see what they achieved.

“As regards the next production, I am not sure when it will be Monmouth School for Boys’ turn to lead the next one. I already have a few ideas in mind and if I could do one every year, I probably would.”

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