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less miserable

December 3, 2011

Last night I saw the latest yr11 Colston’s production.

Those that know me, even just a little bit, will be aware of my general dislike of musicals and musical theatre (ok, considerable dislike that takes me to places whereby self harm becomes a viable consideration). So if I were to say that I have awoken this morning with songs from the show in my head and can be found wandering the house humming (and even singing the odd line) you might begin to comprehend the impact last night has had on this particular audience member.

One of things that I dislike so much about musicals is the phony delivery; songs are stripped of emotional intensity and polished to within and inch of their life, leaving behind this staid blandness and a melody that makes me want to puke and crawl under my seat until someone makes it stop and the pain fades away. The “acting” tends to be the worst kind of am dram pumped up on steroids. I say tends because there are exceptions and I am not against the concept of musical theatre, quite the opposite. I should love it. I love all the component parts. I’m keen muso; whilst not being able to play an instrument or sing I have a very broad musical taste.

But enough about me.

If only more musicals could be like what I saw last night.

I was lucky enough to be in rehearsals and see this show and cast develop over the last four weeks. The process was not easy and many tears were shed and tempers frayed throughout but the end result was astonishing.

Craig Pullen and Dana Drake’s direction brought an emotional intensity and integrity that lifted the performance to a new dimension. They made brave and bold choices that transformed this musical (Les Miserables) into a dynamic tour de force. Their skill and empathy as directors was visible throughout as the cast responded in ways and with a focus that many professional companies only ever aspire to.

The cast: what an amazing group. Easy to forget that they are still so young (and we should as age should not play a factor in deciding whether it was good or not) and for many this would have been their first public performance. Their commitment and energy never waned. Their imagination and willingness to take creative risks was extraordinary. Their focus throughout was breathtaking.

I would say that there will be future stars who emerge from this cast, but that is stating the obvious. They have already proved their star quality.

I hope I get the chance to work with them in the future in some tangential way. In the meantime if any of you need a reference do give me a shout.


From → Performance

One Comment
  1. Harry biggs permalink

    Nice one luff! Love the blog, I’m finding myself singing some tunes as well :p

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