NIGHTLY standing ovations were a fitting testament to a truly triumphant production last week when The Winston Churchill School seamlessly pulled off the ambitious and complex Les Miserables.
The world’s most popular musical was maturely performed by talented Year 7 to 11 pupils at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre in Woking, making it easy for the captivated, packed-out audience to forget that those treading the boards were no older than 16.
The legendary production, set in France in the early 1800s, is a compelling tale encompassing all the classic elements of an epic – triumph, tragedy, good and evil, drama, comedy, love, and a modicum of the risqué.
Outstandingly executed both on stage and off, the multifarious story by Victor Hugo skillfully unfolded, unified by first-rate live music, stunning special effects and lighting, super stage settings and some powerful direction.
Produced by Head of Drama Simon Donaldson, Simon Jolly, Christopher Drake and Samantha Remnant, and choreographed by Aimee Louise Bevan, a record number of students took part as actors, dancers, technicians, make-up crew and the pit band.
Knaphill mum Lesley Hazeldine was one of many who were pleasantly surprised by the professionalism of the famous production. She told the News & Mail: “It was truly amazing! Josh Townsend who played Jean Valjean – what stamina, it was a huge part. And Rhiannon Drane as Fantine has such a beautiful voice.
“The show stealer for me, though, was David Stacey who played the Innkeeper, Monsieur Thénardier: brilliant comic timing and excellent acting.
“All in all an exceptional show. I’m looking forward to the next one.”
Such a magnificent accomplishment will be a challenge to top when it comes to next year’s school production.
Picture Special in this week’s News & Mail.