Cast set to storm stage
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.