Review: Les Miserables (School Edition), the Children’s Theatre Company, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich July 18-20

Dan Moore as Valjean in the Children's Theatre Company's Les Miserables. Pictures: Mike Kwasniak

Dan Moore as Valjean in the Children's Theatre Company's Les Miserables. Pictures: Mike Kwasniak - Credit: Archant

Some advice for the young cast; get used to standing ovations. Last night’s performance wasn’t just the best thing I’ve seen so far this year, it’s one of the best things I’ve seen... ever. And last night was just the dress rehearsal.

Maia Elsey as Eponine and John Halifax as Marius

Maia Elsey as Eponine and John Halifax as Marius - Credit: Archant

The show, based on Victor Hugo’s novel, sees ex-convict Jean Valjean fight to care for adopted daughter Cosette while being hunted by ruthless policeman Javert in 19th Century France.

Wonderfully directed by artistic director Bridie Rowe, everybody was impeccable; you forgot you were watching eight to 19 year olds, they were that believable. The singing was magnificent, with not a weak voice to be heard.

It didn’t just sound great, it looked great too. The staging, costumes and lighting complementing the performances.

I’ve never seen an audience so stunned that they couldn’t get out of their seats come the interval.


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Packed with spine-tingling, goose-bump inducing, lump in the throat moments; honestly, I’ve seen semi and full professional adult touring productions who could learn a lot from these youngsters.

Everybody was so strong I deserve to be locked up by Javert for singling individuals out. But Dan Moore as Valjean and Jordan Harrington as Javert were mesmerising, Samuel Brown as Gavroche had several people in tears and as for Maia Elsey as Eponine... when she sang On My Own, wow.

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I expect to see some of this cast in leading roles on the West End in years to come. This show has sold out already, but get yourself on the waiting list or you’ll miss something special.

Wayne Savage

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