Cast set to storm stage

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Ararat Mu­si­cal Com­edy So­ci­ety’s pre­sen­ta­tion of Les Mis­er­ables rep­re­sents the so­ci­ety’s big­gest and most am­bi­tious pro­duc­tion in its 46-year his­tory.

The pro­duc­tion, at Ararat Town Hall from June 15 to 30, has at­tracted a cast of 60 from across the re­gion in­clud­ing Stawell and Ararat as well as Bal­larat.

Pam Wright, who returns to the so­ci­ety with pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence in di­rect­ing shows such as ‘Dusty the Original Pop Diva’ is lead­ing the pro­duc­tion.

Stephen East is mu­si­cal di­rec­tor and Leanne Mccready vo­cal di­rec­tor.

Pres­i­dent Grant John­son said the so­ci­ety was ‘ex­tremely’ lucky to have at­tracted Wright, East and Mccready to lead the pro­duc­tion.

“Their vast ex­pe­ri­ence in their re­spec­tive fields will en­sure

the story of Les Misérables is brought to life in Ararat for the first time,” he said.

“We are also very ex­cited that we have at­tracted cast from across the re­gion – any­one who has ever per­formed in theatre wants to per­form in Les Mis – it’s one of those shows that is on ev­ery­one’s bucket list.”

Les Misérables is one of the most pop­u­lar mu­si­cals in the world.

The story is based in 19th Cen­tury France, where ‘Jean Val­jean’ is re­leased from 19 years of un­just im­pris­on­ment, but finds noth­ing in store for him but mis­trust and mis­treat­ment.

Val­jean breaks his pa­role in hope of start­ing a new life, ini­ti­at­ing a life-long strug­gle for redemp­tion as po­lice in­spec­tor ‘Javert’, who re­fuses to be­lieve Val­jean can change his ways, re­lent­lessly pur­sues him.

Crit­ics have con­stantly used words or ex­pres­sions such as ‘epic’, ‘grand’ and ‘up­lift­ing’ and ‘packs emo­tional punch’ for Les Misérables, which has thrilled au­di­ences world-wide.

The cast as­sem­bled for the Ararat pro­duc­tion is a mix of ex­pe­ri­enced per­form­ers and new­com­ers to theatre.

“At our au­di­tions we were blown away by the tal­ent that emerged,” Mr John­son said.

“Many au­di­tion­ees re­duced our di­rec­tor and vo­cal di­rec­tor to tears, such was the raw emo­tion dis­played in their per­for­mance.”

Stephen Ar­mati and Rus­sell Pur­die are play­ing the two lead roles of Jean Val­jean and Javert.

Ar­mati joins the Ararat pro­duc­tion off the back of di­rect­ing Bal­larat Lyric Theatre’s pro­duc­tion of Jekyll and Hyde, as well as hav­ing a strong com­mu­nity and pro­fes­sional per­for­mance back­ground.

Pur­die has nine years’ ex­pe­ri­ence on stage, mainly in the Shepparton area, and de­buted with Ararat Mu­si­cal Com­edy So­ci­ety last year in ‘Cur­tains’.

Chris­tine Bul­ger, ‘Fan­tine’, Luke Smith, ‘Marius’, Melissa San­ders, ‘Cosette’, Erin Peter, ‘Epo­nine’, Michael Peter, ‘En­jol­ras’, Ian Wright, ‘Thenardier’, Joyce Clery, ‘Madame Thenardier’, Ma­iara Barry-gon­calves, ‘young Cosette’, Jude Bul­ger, ‘Gavroche’, Erin San­ders, ‘young Epo­nine’, and Greg Turn­bull, ‘Bishop of Digne’ have other ma­jor roles.

Tick­ets for eight per­for­mances, in­clud­ing two mati­nees, are on sale and avail­able on­line at www.stage­centa.com or by call­ing 02 6253 1454 Mon­day to Fri­day from 10am to 4pm.

ACE Ra­dio Broad­cast­ers through The Weekly Ad­ver­tiser and ra­dio sta­tions 3WM and MIXX FM are a ma­jor spon­sor of the pro­duc­tion.

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