YOU don’t always have to make the trip to London’s West End for a night of quality musical theatre.
And X-entricity theatre group’s performance of Les Miserables at The Courtyard this week proved that Herefordshire can certainly pack a punch when it comes to talent.
The Ross-on-Wye based youth theatre took the show to their home town last October and, due to popular demand are now showing a bigger audience what they’re capable of.
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, Les Miserables tells the story of Jean Valjean, a man struggling to live a normal life after being imprisoned for 19 years for stealing bread.
And Lucas Abbott’s portrayal of the “con” turned hero was faultless – moving numbers including Bring Him Home and Who Am I had the audience on the edge of their seats.
Equally brilliant was Charlie Rogers-Davies’ Javert – the police inspector on a relentless quest to find Valjean who has broken parole and risen to a wealthy town mayor.
Gina Booth’s delivery of the iconic emotional I Dreamed a Dream as Fantine was delivered with real conviction and her demise also played out perfectly.
And Holly Clack’s playful but yearning Eponine was a character the audience was truly rooting for.
The on-stage chemistry between Eponine and Marius – played by the talented Jack Chambers was perfectly executed.
Other strong performances came from Freya Snelling (Cosette), Sam Sanger (Enjolras) and Connor Taylor (Gavroche).
Arthur Godden and Breanne Burton provided laughs as the hilarious Thenardier and Madame Thernadier – as sly and scheming as they were born to be.
Aside from some minor technical issues – the sound broke a little at various points throughout the show – the production was a real tonic and something Herefordshire can be proud of.
Authentic costumes, scenery and excellent chorus work all added to a stunning show, musically directed by Steve Liddle and his assistant Ian Strangwood.
The show runs at The Courtyard until Saturday.