Presented by Scotch College Performing Arts
Reviewed 26 July 2019
This is the first musical I have attended at Scotch College and so had no idea of the high standards and professionalism – in the best sense of the word – that the students and their teachers, parents and friends would bring to the special student edition of Les Misérables. Director Linda Williams has brought together the talents of the whole school community to present a first class performance.
The set, making use of the chapel’s balcony, was inspired and served as a backdrop for projections of different locations: a street scene; the Valjean house; ships in port and more. The barricade was constructed with a wonderful collection of furniture, including a bedhead, and revolved to reveal the army’s side of the battle. The cleverly devised and operated barricade was a brilliant stage for the fighting and the sad death of so many of the fighters.
The ‘Paris cast’ featured Ned Baulderstome as Jean Valjean. He has a tremendous voice and it is no wonder there are 2 casts as it must be extremely tiring sustaining such an outstanding performance over 3 hours. The tense relationship between Valjean and his arch enemy Inspector Javert, played by Hugh Whittle, was convincingly portrayed by the very talented actors. Baulderstone showed an entirely different, much softer side to his character when singing with Fantine, wonderfully portrayed by Georgia Raftopoulos, and Cosette, beautifully performed by Mille Blake.
The music from the hidden orchestra, directed by Antony Hubmayer, was excellent and after what was a marathon performance, I was disappointed that the musicians did not appear to share in the well deserved standing ovation. The standard of acting and singing was universally excellent, far higher than I have seen at some adult amateur performances, and the remarkable talents of all the players contributed to a great production. However, I must single out for special praise M. and Mme. Thénardier, played by Sebastien Skubala and Charlie Miller who provided the comic relief in the show – with spot on comic timing and self deprecating humour.
This is a limited season so get in quickly to book tickets for this terrific show.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Venue: Fisher Chapel, Scotch College
Season: 26, 27 July at 7pm, 28 July at 2pm, 1-3 August at 7pm
Duration: 3 hours 15 mins with 25 min interval
Tickets: $40 Conc $20
Click here to read Brian Godfrey’s review of the ‘London’ cast