Some post Les Misérables reflections from the Directors
A note from a Director and Actor in Residence (Mr Chisnall):
It was a magical week in the Ben Travers Theatre - our pupils FINALLY got their chance to perform Les Mis. My goodness it was worth the wait!!
Our 20+ strong cast worked tirelessly under incredibly difficult conditions for eight months and I really couldn’t be more proud of them if I tried. The most pleasing thing of all was the family spirit we created. This wasn’t just a cast and crew of people standing on or working back stage - it was a community pulling together in the most inspiring of ways to deliver a stellar evening of entertainment and to create memories for life.
It was a shame not to perform in front of the sell-out crowd we’d originally packed in but grateful parents, students, friends and family came along in their bubbles and rose to their feet in the finale to celebrate their hard work and incomparable talents.
A real rollercoaster of an experience ended on the highest note possible. Our cast are already asking daily “What musical are we doing next year, Sir?” - WATCH THIS SPACE!
Thank you to all who took part from a very emotional and grateful Mr C.
A note from a Musical Director and Conductor (Miss Corderoy):
Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of the project was the wonderful working partnership fostered between the BTT and the RVW (Music Department).
The cast were supported beautifully by a band made up of professionals and students alike. We were fortunate enough to welcome players from the pits of the West End, as well as our very own Music Faculty - for students to play alongside players of such a high calibre is a rare and special opportunity.
Once again COVID reared its ugly head. Come performance week we found ourselves in an almost unheard-of scenario - the first time cast and band would hear each other, would be on the opening night itself. Both parties rose to the occasion wonderfully, however. After months of rehearsing alongside the piano, the cast were in total awe of the sound produced by the 20-piece ensemble; new life was breathed into the performance at an all-important moment.
A note from a Director (Miss Fox):
Well, we did it! Last week saw the Ben Travers Theatre open its doors to a live audience at last – that in itself was quite an emotional moment for us. But that pupils, parents and staff, as well as outside visitors, would be coming to see a fully-staged production of Les Mis in the BTT at the end of eight months of unconventional rehearsal, had at times during our journey seemed an ambitious hope. We were determined – and it paid off.
Huge congratulations to the wonderfully committed cast and crew for giving us five amazing performances, against the odds in this time of lockdown and distancing. No mean feat and I think the audience reaction was all that was needed to show our Carthusians that their sustained hard work and staying power, to say nothing of their very considerable talent, had moved and impressed more than they imagined it ever could.
The whole creative team is so immensely proud of what these pupils achieved - it is sometimes easy to forget we are working in a school when you see what they manage to do. And although it is difficult to come to the end of the long production road that we have travelled together as a Les Mis family, a new one lies open ahead and we look forward to regrouping for the next BTT auditions in September, with new faces and new talent hopefully joining us too. Memories and friendships for life are to be forged here, so please come and join in our theatrical crusade!