Charterhouse Theatre News

Principal roles now cast and rehearsals are underway for Les Misérables

We are now into the second week of rehearsals for our March production of Les Misérables (School’s edition), using Chapel as our base – it’s a good venue for sound and perfect for social distancing! The principal roles are now cast (our congratulations to all those who tried out with such gusto for those parts) and it has been so exciting to hear the voice of the whole company grow in confidence after just a few rehearsals under the genius musical direction of Mark Shepherd and Charlotte Corderoy. Running sessions in year groups is not perhaps how one would anticipate getting a musical of this size off the ground, but the great excitement that Les Mis generates drives us all forward with more determination than ever to bring this production to a live audience at the end of Spring Term.

Our Actor in Residence, Dean Chisnall, has brought a whole other dimension to auditions and rehearsals. Our pupils are very lucky to be learning the musical theatre ropes from Jean Valjean himself! Eddie Chai and Matthew Parnall, whom we have cast in the roles of Jean Valjean and Javert, found themselves singing alongside Mr Chisnall in their principal rehearsals this week. If only you could have been there to hear them! Amazing stuff.

Shakespeare in Shorts 

The Ben Travers Theatre auditorium is preparing itself for an informal festival of Shakespeare Shorts. Pupils from across the year groups will be taking to the stage in the final week of term, in front of a distanced audience (our first since lockdown last March). BTT Technical Manager, Chris Bagust, is focusing lights and seeking out ‘Is this a dagger which I see before me …’ sound effects in readiness. Some 40 pupil actors will be involved at various points over the three festival days. It’s an interesting project (not least logistically!) and certainly hasn’t been without its challenges but we couldn’t have an Autumn Term without any drama! See posters around campus for details about getting a ticket.

Lack of talent 

Last week saw the release of the pupils’ Lack of Talent show, filmed this year for the first time. Well done to Eva Pomery and her team and to all who took part. It was wonderful to see the auditorium lit and alive and raising money for The Meath Epilepsy Charity, based in Godalming.