Norwich pupils perform Les Misérables School Edition at Norwich Playhouse
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Norwich pupils are celebrating the 150th anniversary year of their school by performing a hit musical at a city theatre.
Notre Dame High School pupils are presenting their version of Les Misérables School Edition at Norwich Playhouse all this week.
The ambitious production - which involves about 80 pupils on-stage and backstage - runs until Saturday.
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables is a tale of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption. The well known story tells of how ex-convict Jean Valjean is hunted for decades by policeman Javert after he breaks parole, and when Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.
The musical - which features classic songs such as I Dreamed A Dream and Bring Him Home - is being performed by a cast of nearly 50 pupils and features a 20-piece orchestra.
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Chris Ellis, the school's director of music, said he was incredibly proud of the pupils involved in the show.
He said they had been rehearsing since September and to prepare for the production pupils went to see Les Misérables in London and also took part in a workshop with West End performers.
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'We have had a fantastic response to the show. It's sold out completely and on opening night we had a standing ovation from the audience at the end,' he said.
'It is just an extremely moving experience watching the students pouring out their emotions on stage.
'The light-hearted moments are very funny and the emotional moments are deep and poignant.'
He said the school chose Les Misérables School Edition for its anniversary show because a lot of students were keen to do the production.
'It is the first time the school has put on a show outside the school grounds,' he said.
'It's an incredible learning experience for the students and something they will take away and cherish through the years.
'It has been an absolute pleasure working with the students to achieve such a great show.'
The cast includes Alex Kennett (Javert), Thomas Semmons (Jean Valjean), Anna Davey (Fantine), Jess Stewart (Éponine), Izzy Pitman (Cosette) and Ethan Miller (Marius).
The sold-out production opened on Wednesday and runs until Saturday. Visit www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk
Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at email@example.com