THEATRE REVIEW - Youngsters put their own spin on smash hit

The cast of Les Miserables School Edition, performed by Act II Theatre Company at South Holland Centre, Spalding.  Photo supplied.
The cast of Les Miserables School Edition, performed by Act II Theatre Company at South Holland Centre, Spalding. Photo supplied.
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Les Miserables School Edition

South Holland Centre, Spalding

Rarely can South Holland Centre have been so fully exploited as it was by Act II Theatre Company with their version of Les Miserables School Edition.

The ambitious project by director Charlotte Gernert and her producer-husband Karl to transport the story of broken dreams and human redemption from 19th-century France to 21st-century Lincolnshire took some doing.

Jack Harrison starred as Jean Valjean, hunted by obsessed policeman Javert (Adam Shah) and charged with caring for factory worker Fantine’s (Jasmin Rolfe) young daughter Cosette (Poppy Hudson and Molly Riches).

All the songs that have drawn millions of people worldwide to see the show were there - I Dreamed A Dream, Bring Me Home, One Day More and On My Own.

But what made this production special was the sheer length and breadth of it, illustrated by the use of a live orchestra, conducted by Karl Gernert and led by keyboard players Peter Graper, Julia Knight and Zoe Wardell.

This show is best summed up in the context that the young actors and actresses did it all on their own, sung rather than spoken and without an adult in the cast.

Formidable as they say in France.

Review by Winston Brown