Students pass the big test

October 12, 2017

Master of the stage: Shepparton's Blair Docking, 19, performs as Monsieur Thénardier in Initial Stages Theatre Company's production of Les Misérables.

Initial Stages actors take to the stage for a dress rehearsal.

Kaylie Carbis as Eponine.

Initial Stages Theatre Company members are doling out the charm with their latest production of Les Misérables.

Set to the backdrop of the French Revolution, the production is completely sung and features 40 of the Goulburn Valley’s best young actors.

Initial Stages Theatre Company director Helen Janke has been busy co-directing the production with Casey Fogarty and is proud of the work that was being done in bringing one of the world’s best-known musicals to Greater Shepparton.

‘‘We’re calling it epic... it’s one of the largest musicals you can produce,’’ she said.

‘‘The (students) have just nailed it and they have exceeded my expectations.

‘‘Our leads are all 18 and 19 and it’s like watching adults.’’

Initial Stages is performing the full theatre version of Les Misérables, which will run for two hours and 50 minutes.

For Year 12 student Brandon Armstrong, 18, the chance to perform in a leading role is an amazing opportunity.

Brandon is playing Jean Valjean and has enjoyed the chance to bring the character to life.

‘‘It’s very exciting, it’s very nerve-racking because it’s such a big role that a lot of people really want to play,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a very good challenge, I find at such a young age to be playing such an iconic role it gives me a wider experience.’’

As a big fan of Les Misérables, Ms Janke is thrilled to be bringing the traditional version to the stage.

‘‘The story’s very dark but it’s the music,’’ she said.

‘‘The minute you hear that opening bang of music every hair on your arm stands up.’’

Les Misérables will be held at WestSide Performing Arts Centre, Echuca Rd, Mooroopna, on Friday, October 13, 7.30pm; Saturday, October 14, 7.30pm; Sunday, October 15, 2pm; Thursday, October 19, 7.30pm; Friday 20, 7.30pm and Saturday, October 21, at 7.30pm.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for concession card holders, $25 for under 17, $30 for groups of 10 or more, $32 for Riverlinks members and $27.50 for Riverlinks concession members.

Tickets can be purchased at the Riverlinks website or by phoning the Riverlinks Box Office on 58329511.

For more on Initial Stages Theatre Company’s production of Les Misérables, see Saturday’s Weekend Life in Weekend News.

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