Fancy a part in Les Mis? West End show coming to the Island next year

Fancy a part in Les Mis? West End show coming to the Island next year
  • Full West End version of Les Misérables to be staged in Island for first time

  • JADC to perform it at Jersey Opera House next year

  • Gallery: re-live the JCG and Victoria College 2007 school production

  • Who was Victor Hugo? Find out more below

  • Is Les Misérables the greatest musical of all time? Take part in our poll

ISLANDERS who love the world-famous musical Les Misérables will be in for a treat next year because the full West End version of the show is due to be performed in Jersey for the first time.

The Jersey Amateur Dramatic Club have announced that they will stage the production next July and are calling on singers and actors to come forward to audition for roles.

In 2007 students from Jersey College for Girls and Victoria College performed an abridged version of the musical to packed audiences – with many people being brought to tears.

The JADC have now been given a special dispensation from the company which owns the copyright to perform the full musical version of the musical of the book, part of which was written in Jersey by Victor Hugo.

And the club are inviting actors, singers and musicians to audition for the show, which will be performed at the Jersey Opera House. JADC director Carol Ruderham and JADC member Alan Cadoret, who have worked together on musicals for the last 20 years, will lead the Jersey production team.

Producer Dominic Anthony Ferris, who lives and works in London, and piano company Steinway & Sons will take charge of the music department.

Ms Ruderham said: 'We are looking for talented singers and actors to come forward and join our members in the 70-strong cast.

'In addition to the principals and ensemble, we are also putting together the Les Misérables choir.

'The rights holders of the play have made a special dispensation for us to perform the full version.

'We were stunned when we got the licence.

'We have had tremendous interest shown by people already, because this is the first time a company has been able to do this.

'The talent here in Jersey is amazing and people sometimes come forward and you wonder where they have been hiding.'

JADC director Carol Ruderham and JADC member Alan Cadoret will lead the Jersey production team

Auditions will start on 18 September and an audition drop-in registration day will take place between 9.30 am and 2 pm on 8 August at the JADC clubroom in St Saviour.

Anyone who wants to audition should collect a pack which will include details of character requirements and rehearsal dates.

Islanders who want to audition solely as a choir member should also register on the day.

There will also be open auditions for the 20-piece orchestra. Musicians who are interested should email jadclesmis@gmail.com.

Further details can be found on the Facebook page JADC – LES MIS 2016.

  • It started out as a novel by French author Victor Hugo and was among the best-known novels of the 19th century.

  • Hugo completed the novel while living in exile in the Channel Islands, first in Jersey, then Guernsey.

  • It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters over a 20-year period in the early 19th century.

  • The longest running production is in London where it played 7,602 performances at the Palace Theatre before transferring to the Queen’s Theatre in 2004.

  • It is the longest running musical in the West End.

  • The play has been translated into 22 languages, including English, Japanese, Hebrew, Icelandic and Norwegian

  • Productions have been performed in 42 countries and more than 319 cities

  • There have been more than 48,000 professional performances, giving a total audience figure of more than 70 million people worldwide

  • Les Misérables has won more than 100 major theatre awards, including an Olivier, a Tony and a Grammy

  • A 2012 movie, starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, win three Oscars

THE Island's first performance of Les Misérables was hailed as the 'best school show ever' by many of the hundreds of people who went to watch it.

The musical, which was staged in December 2007, was the first completely joint production between Jersey College for Girls and Victoria College.

The 320 tickets for each of the six performances sold out within just two days of going on sale.

The then Education Minister, the late Mike Vibert, said that he thought the standard of the performance was 'above and beyond' what is expected from a school production.

'I've written to both Caroline Davies (director) and Peter Davis (musical director) to congratulate them and everybody involved on what I thought was an absolutely outstanding school show which will linger long in the memory and be regarded as the height to which a school production can reach,' he said.

Although the novel on which it was based was partly written in Jersey by Victor Hugo, Les Mis had never been performed in the Island until this production.

The 58-strong cast were chosen before the summer holidays and rehearsed regularly from September onwards.

  • Born in 1802, Hugo was raised by his mother in Paris.

  • In his early 20s he became a ‘hero to the common people’ as well as a favourite of heads of state, and throughout his lifetime he played a major role in France’s political evolution from dictatorship to democracy.

  • In 1822 he married Adèle Foucher and the couple had five children.

  • Hugo went on to write numerous plays and verse, as well as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, establishing his reputation as the greatest writer in France.

  • In 1831 Adèle became romantically involved with one of his friends, so Hugo became involved with the actress Juliette Drouet, who became his mistress. She also became his unpaid secretary and travelling companion for the next 50 years.

  • A moderate republican, Hugo was made a Peer of France in 1845 and after the Revolution of 1848 was elected a deputy to the Constitutional Assembly. Three years later, when Louis Napoleon abolished the Republic and re-established the Empire, Hugo risked execution trying to rally the workers of Paris against the new Emperor, but his efforts failed and he had to escape and spent the next decade in exile.

  • He and his family lived in Jersey between 1852 and 1855 before resettling in Guernsey.

  • In Jersey he first stayed at the Pomme d’Or Hotel but found a home in Marina Terrace in St Clement. This has since been demolished but inside a public shelter on the seafront some examples of his experimental and decorative artwork can be seen.

  • During his time in the islands he finished and published several novels, including Les Misérables.

  • Hugo died in 1885, aged 83.

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