Taking on the phenomena that is ‘Les Misérables’ can cause fear and dread in a company, especially for a youth production, but this cannot be said for the amazingly talented cast of Starlight’s annual show at the Thornton Little Theatre this week. The excitement and determined nature of all the performers was certainly a new refreshing look at youth theatre in this reviewers eyes. All the cast and creative should be extremely proud of themselves for the terrific performance each of them contributes to the show.
The well-known synopsis is engrained into most musical lovers memory. Les Misérables follows the backdrop of a revolutionary France fighting for freedom and honour, a theme that drives Jean Valjean to fight for what he believes is just and for the better good. Taking on this enormous task was seasoned performer Cobi Barber who stepped up to the task with confidence, and his strong acting skills and physical theatre experience helped him to portray the character through many points of his life.
Jordan Kennedy (Javert) played Valjean’s nemesis captivating the audience with a menacing flair and incredible vocals which surely made him a fan favourite. Another, whose vocals shone were those of Laurianne Imeson, whose portrayal of Cosette brought tears to the eye, thanks to her perfect placement and operatic style. Eponine, one of musical theatres greatest roles, is a hard undertaking but Kassie Malam shows no signs of stopping in this incredible production. Marius played by Ben Smyth brought a boyish charm to the character which was enhanced by his relationship with Grataire (William Evans) and Enjolras (Edd Ralph) both having excellent vocal control.
The Thenardiers relationship was a joy to watch and brought light to what is otherwise a serious storyline. Chorus numbers should receive special mention, ‘At the End Of The Day’, ‘Lovely Ladies’, ‘Do You Hear The People Sing’ and ‘One Day More’ were strong with good solo pieces.
For every production, there is always one performer that catches the eye; Georgia Dixon (Fantine) delivered a heart wrenching emotional performance building up to her death scene which was no less outstanding.
The set was an innovative design and utilised the space perfectly, enhanced by lighting carefully crafted to both sensitive and battle scenes. The band delivered the dramatic mood demanded by this musical. With Charlotte Longworth (Director & Choreographer) and Lisa Carolan (Musical Director & Vocal Coach) it was evident that hard work, passion and dedication produced this non-stop enthralling show.
Special congratulations must be made to this talented ensemble for such commitment. The challenge was no easy feat but every member of the cast should be proud of their achievement particularly with this being such a mature musical.
Reviewer: Brad Wilson
Reviewed: 28th November 2015