Back in 2007 when ‘Les Miserable’ was first staged in Cashel Community School there were whispers that perhaps the producers were going a bridge to far.
Those thoughts were of course unfounded as the show was an outstanding success. Six years on and the second coming was an even bigger triumph.
This was the school’s 20th show and how the little acorn has grown since HMS Pinafore in Bru Boru in 1994. Anyone lucky enough to get a ticket for their latest offering really saw a stellar production.
The singing, acting, music, lighting, and that magnificent set were of such a high standard that it was hard to believe that one was sitting through a school musical and not a professional theatre production. Sixty eight students took part, all of them, resplendent in their period costumes.
There appears to be an endless supply of talent available for producer John Murray to choose from. Year in year out the faces change but the momentum moves relentlessly upwards.
The dark drama of the Victor Hugo’s classic was marvelously portrayed by the leads, but there were some great ensemble numbers which lighten the mood, too.
A bawdy rendition of ‘Master of the House’, led by the excellent James Downey (Thernardier) and his partner in crime the equally exquisite Agnes Lambe (Madame Thernardier) was one of the highlights of the first half. Jean Valean is at the heart of the entire story and Thomas Grogans towering performance was way beyond his years. The other leads Javert, (Niall Treacy) Fantine, (Nell Trehy) Little Cossette, (Orla Purcell) Marius, (Liam Quigley) Eponine, (Maia Perdue) Cossette, (Joanna Murray) Ejolas, (Eoin Hand) Gavroche, (Conor Dwan) all gave stellar performances. Maestro Murray and his ‘Petite Bande’, back down on terra firma after a spell in the rafters weaved their magic, the building blocks for the entire spectacle.
The show was produced and directed by John Murray, assisted by Nicola Sheils. Choreography was by Miriam Ball.