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NODA EAST REVIEW

NODA EAST REVIEW

Les Miserables

Chelmsford Young Generation
Civic Theatre Chelmsford
6th Nov 2018 Red Team
Director Jimmy Hooper
Les Miserables Publicity Photograph
For their 50th anniversary production Young Gen chose the wonderful musical Les Miserables directed by the very talented, award winning director Jimmy Hooper. With the help of the assistant directors, Jill Burtenshaw and Robyn Gowers, they pulled off an enormous production which they can be truly proud of. Indeed the standing ovation at the end of the show was great praise for the huge undertaking. This is truly an amazing piece of theatre and if you want a ticket, unfortunately you are now too late as it is totally sold out for the whole of the run.

I remember the first time I went to see this musical in 1985 where it received negative reviews. t was dubious that I would enjoy it. How wrong I was, it just goes to show how the critics can get it so wrong. Since then I have been numerous times to see this show and have never been disappointed. Young Gen has yet again produced an excellent, professional show; their hard work and commitment over the last few months has paid off in spades.

It seemed like there was a cast of hundreds on the large Civic stage and I was told that in all there were 90 children who were part of this production. The director must have had his hands full to have such a number.

From making their sets and costumes, which really added to the show, to the fabulous orchestra, again conducted by Bryan Cass, this was an incredibly organised production. The scene change choreography was spot on, with the cast bringing on and taking off set pieces with great precision and timing. Make up, especially the ageing of Javert and Jean Valjean was very well done, the wigs were super all except Val Jeans long one at the beginning and Fantine’s short, dark cut one which I wasn’t really taken with. It did seem odd that all of the prisoners had short hair whereas Valjean seemed to have a long, scarecrow carrot wig on his??

Dan Hall was Jean Valjean, there were definite shades of Colm Wilkinson in his singing. Strong and acting his heart out, (if some what overacting at the beginning!), in this enormous role I felt his emotion when he sang ‘Bring him home’, and indeed I saw tears in his eyes at the end of the show. Such was the immersion of his characterisation.

Jack Gunn as Javert was truly superb. What a voice! This young man will truly go far. His maturity on stage is incredible and his song ‘Stars’ was truly wonderful. I see from the programme that this is only his second show and I hope that he will get further lead roles as he is a natural star of the future. For me one of the highlights of the production.

Fantine played by Abby Murphy was another marvellous strong singer with a beautiful voice, she made the rendition of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ her own.

Jessie Hadley as Cosette really was well matched with Ben Collins as Marius and her voice was pure and crystal clear. Ben was a truly inspired choice, he has come on so much in the last year, his singing range is now so rich and smooth, His song ‘ Empty Tables’ brought me to tears. I also loved his duet with both Eponine ‘A little drop of rain’ and with Cosette ‘In My Life’.

Enjorlras (Matt Hedges) was the leader of the students and gave a very strong delivery of ‘Red and Black’ and ‘Do you hear the people sing’ which were both very emotionally sung by them all.

Who cannot love Monsieur and Madame Thenardier; Jack Charlesworth and Millie Parsons expertly personified the roles, commanding the stage from the moment they appeared. Wonderfully funny they played to the audience and the audience loved it. Surely ‘Master of the House’ is one of the best comic songs in the business and all the cast enjoyed every minute of it on stage, where they were singing their hearts out in fine form.

Young Gavroche played by Joseph Papalie acted with complete cheekiness and fantastic characterisation (if a little off key) and Little Cosette played by Anna Edmondson was very sweet. They were truly little stars.

This was a superb show, a huge success which was well directed and choreographed. Diction was clear and each character was totally confident in their roles. The whole cast and crew should be proud of this spectacular show. Huge congratulations to everyone.

Saturday 10th November Black Team

Chelmsford Young Generation has truly a wealth of talent and can be commended for the amount of time and effort that they put into each of their shows. The professionalism and high calibre shines through in each performance.

Les Miserables, is one of the most successful and legendary productions by Cameron Mackintosh, the production celebrated its silver jubilee on October 2012 and is regarded as the longest running musical in the world.

The Black Team on Saturday night were again superb. Paul French was a passionate and emotive Jean Valjean bringing me to tears with his version of ‘Bring him home’. Tall and commanding the stage, his character really developed all the way through the show.

Jordan Webster played Javert the arch enemy of Valjean and gave a solid performance with a strong clear voice although I would have liked to have seen more emotion and character in his performance.

As Fantine, Liv Khattar gave us an excellent lesson in acting out a song, a clear, pure voice, with emotion that showed that she really understood, you have to act as well as sing. A superb performance from Liv, well done.

Charlie Toland and Kat Maahs were well matched as Marius and Cosette. Their voices suited each other well and their song ‘ A Heart full of love’ was beautifully sung. Abbie Gunnell as Eponine sung the classic song ‘ On My Own’  from the heart and with Marius gave us a heart wrenching rendition of ‘A Little Drop of Rain’  All three of them were superb on stage and very confident in their characters.

Another good pairing were The Thenaandiers. Matt Wickham and Jess Higgins were the comic innkeeper and his wife who gave us a great rendition of ‘Master of the House’ Matt had lots of energy on stage and with Jess they acted well against one another. Well done both of you.

Sean Lomas was Enjjoras, the leader of the students he gave a great, rousing rendition of ‘Red and Black’ and ‘Do you hear the People Sing.’

One of the cast, who shined on stage, even though she did not have a main role, was Phoebe Walsh. Both times we watched the show my eyes were drawn to her and I hope that she gets a larger role in another production. I would have loved to have seen her play Madame Thenandier as her voice and facial expressions were super all the way through the show.

Last but not least, the two smallest stars of the show, both of whom could be on the West End Stage with their roles.  Scarlett Gleeson as Little Cosette sung beautifully with ‘Castle on a Cloud’ and young Dara Gleeson as Gavroche was superb, giving us the cheeky, cocky young lad who falls at the barricade.

Being the second time that I saw the show in a week, can I say just how much we both enjoyed the production.  I spoke to Director Jimmy Hooper, at the end and he told me that for the last six months he had immersed himself in this production. I want to congratulate him on his hard work, his commitment and to praise the whole cast where every actor on that stage shined.  This was a very fitting tribute to Chelmsford Young Generation’s 50 year anniversary and I hope they continue to shine for the next fifty.

 

Les Miserables

Chelmsford Young Generation
Civic Theatre Chelmsford
6th Nov 2018 Red Team
Director Jimmy Hooper
Les Miserables Publicity Photograph
For their 50th anniversary production Young Gen chose the wonderful musical Les Miserables directed by the very talented, award winning director Jimmy Hooper. With the help of the assistant directors, Jill Burtenshaw and Robyn Gowers, they pulled off an enormous production which they can be truly proud of. Indeed the standing ovation at the end of the show was great praise for the huge undertaking. This is truly an amazing piece of theatre and if you want a ticket, unfortunately you are now too late as it is totally sold out for the whole of the run.

I remember the first time I went to see this musical in 1985 where it received negative reviews. t was dubious that I would enjoy it. How wrong I was, it just goes to show how the critics can get it so wrong. Since then I have been numerous times to see this show and have never been disappointed. Young Gen has yet again produced an excellent, professional show; their hard work and commitment over the last few months has paid off in spades.

It seemed like there was a cast of hundreds on the large Civic stage and I was told that in all there were 90 children who were part of this production. The director must have had his hands full to have such a number.

From making their sets and costumes, which really added to the show, to the fabulous orchestra, again conducted by Bryan Cass, this was an incredibly organised production. The scene change choreography was spot on, with the cast bringing on and taking off set pieces with great precision and timing. Make up, especially the ageing of Javert and Jean Valjean was very well done, the wigs were super all except Val Jeans long one at the beginning and Fantine’s short, dark cut one which I wasn’t really taken with. It did seem odd that all of the prisoners had short hair whereas Valjean seemed to have a long, scarecrow carrot wig on his??

Dan Hall was Jean Valjean, there were definite shades of Colm Wilkinson in his singing. Strong and acting his heart out, (if some what overacting at the beginning!), in this enormous role I felt his emotion when he sang ‘Bring him home’, and indeed I saw tears in his eyes at the end of the show. Such was the immersion of his characterisation.

Jack Gunn as Javert was truly superb. What a voice! This young man will truly go far. His maturity on stage is incredible and his song ‘Stars’ was truly wonderful. I see from the programme that this is only his second show and I hope that he will get further lead roles as he is a natural star of the future. For me one of the highlights of the production.

Fantine played by Abby Murphy was another marvellous strong singer with a beautiful voice, she made the rendition of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ her own.

Jessie Hadley as Cosette really was well matched with Ben Collins as Marius and her voice was pure and crystal clear. Ben was a truly inspired choice, he has come on so much in the last year, his singing range is now so rich and smooth, His song ‘ Empty Tables’ brought me to tears. I also loved his duet with both Eponine ‘A little drop of rain’ and with Cosette ‘In My Life’.

Enjorlras (Matt Hedges) was the leader of the students and gave a very strong delivery of ‘Red and Black’ and ‘Do you hear the people sing’ which were both very emotionally sung by them all.

Who cannot love Monsieur and Madame Thenardier; Jack Charlesworth and Millie Parsons expertly personified the roles, commanding the stage from the moment they appeared. Wonderfully funny they played to the audience and the audience loved it. Surely ‘Master of the House’ is one of the best comic songs in the business and all the cast enjoyed every minute of it on stage, where they were singing their hearts out in fine form.

Young Gavroche played by Joseph Papalie acted with complete cheekiness and fantastic characterisation (if a little off key) and Little Cosette played by Anna Edmondson was very sweet. They were truly little stars.

This was a superb show, a huge success which was well directed and choreographed. Diction was clear and each character was totally confident in their roles. The whole cast and crew should be proud of this spectacular show. Huge congratulations to everyone.

Saturday 10th November Black Team

Chelmsford Young Generation has truly a wealth of talent and can be commended for the amount of time and effort that they put into each of their shows. The professionalism and high calibre shines through in each performance.

Les Miserables, is one of the most successful and legendary productions by Cameron Mackintosh, the production celebrated its silver jubilee on October 2012 and is regarded as the longest running musical in the world.

The Black Team on Saturday night were again superb. Paul French was a passionate and emotive Jean Valjean bringing me to tears with his version of ‘Bring him home’. Tall and commanding the stage, his character really developed all the way through the show.

Jordan Webster played Javert the arch enemy of Valjean and gave a solid performance with a strong clear voice although I would have liked to have seen more emotion and character in his performance.

As Fantine, Liv Khattar gave us an excellent lesson in acting out a song, a clear, pure voice, with emotion that showed that she really understood, you have to act as well as sing. A superb performance from Liv, well done.

Charlie Toland and Kat Maahs were well matched as Marius and Cosette. Their voices suited each other well and their song ‘ A Heart full of love’ was beautifully sung. Abbie Gunnell as Eponine sung the classic song ‘ On My Own’  from the heart and with Marius gave us a heart wrenching rendition of ‘A Little Drop of Rain’  All three of them were superb on stage and very confident in their characters.

Another good pairing were The Thenaandiers. Matt Wickham and Jess Higgins were the comic innkeeper and his wife who gave us a great rendition of ‘Master of the House’ Matt had lots of energy on stage and with Jess they acted well against one another. Well done both of you.

Sean Lomas was Enjjoras, the leader of the students he gave a great, rousing rendition of ‘Red and Black’ and ‘Do you hear the People Sing.’

One of the cast, who shined on stage, even though she did not have a main role, was Phoebe Walsh. Both times we watched the show my eyes were drawn to her and I hope that she gets a larger role in another production. I would have loved to have seen her play Madame Thenandier as her voice and facial expressions were super all the way through the show.

Last but not least, the two smallest stars of the show, both of whom could be on the West End Stage with their roles.  Scarlett Gleeson as Little Cosette sung beautifully with ‘Castle on a Cloud’ and young Dara Gleeson as Gavroche was superb, giving us the cheeky, cocky young lad who falls at the barricade.

Being the second time that I saw the show in a week, can I say just how much we both enjoyed the production.  I spoke to Director Jimmy Hooper, at the end and he told me that for the last six months he had immersed himself in this production. I want to congratulate him on his hard work, his commitment and to praise the whole cast where every actor on that stage shined.  This was a very fitting tribute to Chelmsford Young Generation’s 50 year anniversary and I hope they continue to shine for the next fifty.

 

About Us

Chelmsford Young Generation is a music and drama society (charity registered) for young people aged 8 to 18, established in 1968. Boys and girls work with professional directors to perform two shows each year at the Civic Theatre and the Cramphorn Theatre in Chelmsford.