Les Misérables, the world’s most popular musical, is coming to Ipswich with nothing left to chance in giving audiences their best ever journey to the barricade.
The Ipswich Musical Theatre Company’s latest production is being directed by top Melbourne director Chris Bradke, who is well and truly in the Les Misérables groove, having recently finished a sell-out Melbourne production of the musical.
“I have directed Les Misérables four times and each time I discover something new,” said Chris as the cast of the musical, adapted from the the classic Victor Hugo novel, entered the last days of rehearsals.
“This is a masterpiece that you can never tire of.”
Chris, who has received 20 nominations for the Music Theatre Guild’s Best Director, taking out the award seven times, has brought with him from Melbourne the dynamic set and authentic, colourful collection of costumes used in the Melbourne production.
“The well-known set is a necessary accompaniment to the songs, characters and story of Les Misérables”, said Assistant Director, Ruth Gabriel.
“They take the audience on a realistic journey because they match the grimy, steely intensity of Victor Hugo’s epic 19th century France.”
The Schonberg Boublil adaptation of Les Misérables, which has left audiences spellbound the world over, opens at the Ipswich Civic Centre on Friday September 8 and includes matinees on Sunday September 10 and 17.
Its messages of hope, love and the triumph of the human spirit transcend decades and continents.
After 19 years as a prisoner, Jean Valjean is freed by Javert, the officer in charge of the prison workforce. Valjean promptly breaks parole but later uses money from stolen silver to reinvent himself as a mayor and factory owner. Javert vows to bring Valjean back to prison.
Eight years later, Valjean becomes the guardian of a child named Cosette after her mother’s death, but Javert’s relentless pursuit means that peace will be a long time coming.
Sophie Salvesani, 23, who plays the older Cosette, is a primary school teacher in the Ipswich area. She was previously involved in her high school’s (West Moreton Anglican College) production of West Side Story, IMTC’s production of The Phantom of the Opera and recently played Pearly Blossom in Centenary Theatre Group’s production of The Spring Heeled Terror of Stepney Green.
She said she was “absolutely thrilled” to be playing Cosette.
“I am so fortunate to be working with such a talented cast (chorus included). I love the music and our director has done an outstanding job preparing us for opening night,” she added.
Emily Pluckrose, who plays Eponine said she had always been in choirs in primary school and had always loved performing since she was young.
“Even if it was at home, in front of family and friends at big dinner get togethers. My first school musical was when I was in grade 6. We did Aladdin and I was Princess Jasmine… I think that’s where it really started. From there I did a lot of other musicals inside and outside of school, starting with IMTC back in 2011,.” she said.
Jessica Ham. who plays Fantine said she first fell in love with Fantine from the first time she saw the show, because of the “amazing strength and courage she demonstrates in her journey”.
“But it wasn’t until becoming a mother that I truly understood her. Her love for Cosette is what gives her hope and pushes her through, in spite of everything. She is just an amazing character, and being able to play her has been the highlight of my performance history because of how much depth there is to discover in her character development,” she said..
The production’s Musical Director Robert Clark who has performed with many international artists going back to Frank Sinatra and Shirley Bassey is full of praise for the quality of the cast and musicians.
“The sound this cast produces knocks me off my feet, and I’ve heard this show sung many times, on many stages. This cast is world class,” said Robert.
“In fact, renowned USA Casting Director, Douglas Webster, was so overwhelmed with the quality of performers auditioning for this production that he said the depth of talent we have “is frightening.
“Each and every cast member could hold their own in a lead role – and that makes for an incredibly powerful ensemble.”
The show opens THIS FRIDAY, September 8 and tickets are flying out the door! Purchase yours here!