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Bringing the West End to the East Midlands

20th November 2023

Pupils at Oakham School are working hard on an ambitious production of Les Misérables. The epic musical will be shown at the School’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre between 27 November and 2 December to sell-out audiences.

With a cast of 40, Les Misérables represents one of the most technically, logistically and artistically challenging productions to be tackled by Oakham School’s Drama Department in recent years. The English language version of Les Misérables has been running continuously since 1985, making it the longest-running musical in the West End and the second longest-running musical in the world.

In charge of the production is Oakham School’s Director of Drama, Mrs Gilly Norell, who explained: “Les Misérables is one of the most well-known musicals of its generation, and with good reason. As well as being phenomenal musically, it is also a brilliant tale. It is a battle for freedom and equality in the French Revolution era, but it is also a love story.

“Some of the singing parts in Les Misérables are very challenging indeed, but we are lucky to have a particularly talented cohort of pupils taking part in this show. It is a very demanding production to stage, and a huge amount of planning goes into the set, the costumes, the lighting and the sound.”

Cast member Faith, who plays Cosette, commented: “To be a part of Les Misérables is to constantly have the soundtrack stuck in your head. Which is a joy, because each number is so unbelievably good. It’s genuinely a really exciting experience for a musical lover like me to see this amazingly influential musical come to life on our stage. I am so grateful just to be a part of it.”

Annie-May, who plays Fantine, added: “Everyone in the cast adds something to the show, and that is so evident in our performance. We hope it will be a show to remember and our hard work will have paid off for the audience to see.”

You can read a behind-the-scenes interview with Director of Drama Gilly Norell here, and insights from members of the cast here.

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