We are delighted to announce that West End musical theatre star, Dean Chisnall, has joined Charterhouse as our first ever Actor in Residence
Dean has worked non-stop in the professional musical theatre industry for the past fifteen years, both in the West End and on tour, taking on principal roles in hit shows such as Blood Brothers, Mamma Mia! and Shrek, in which he played the title role, to name but a few.
He has been playing the leading role of Jean Valjean in Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables since 2018, initially for fifteen months in the West End and latterly on tour until the pandemic paused play.
It is purely by chance that this year’s Charterhouse musical, to be performed in March, is Les Misérables (Schools’ Edition)! To have the current Jean Valjean on board to help with this ambitious project will be a truly inspiring experience for us all. You can enjoy Dean singing the beautiful Les Mis number ‘Bring Him Home’ in Trafalgar Square to 40,000 people in 2019 from 5 minutes into the following recording:
Dean is hugely excited to have the opportunity to bring his experience and expertise to all at Charterhouse and he is certainly set to be busy in our thriving Ben Travers Theatre, and also with performance-related projects across the School, as he helps to promote our Performing Arts programme. As Actor in Residence he will put into action exciting ideas for outreach projects, extending his support to Charterhouse’s local partnered state schools. Dean is a passionate believer that the theatre should be open to all, that all who want to be involved should have that chance. He tells us:
It is an honour and a privilege to be at Charterhouse to help and nurture the already exemplary pupils and staff at this magnificent school. The history of one of the greatest schools in the world speaks for itself. Just when I thought I’d been lucky enough to achieve many dreams in my life, this wonderful opportunity comes along. I’m so thankful and I’ll endeavour to work as hard as I can to inspire and expand all things theatrical. I truly believe that every pupil should have exposure to drama in some form – the life skills you gain from it are incredibly precious and stand you in good stead for ANY career. If I were to give the pupils here tips about how they should approach their work in the theatre (or indeed in their every day), it would be these:
· Be a good human – be gracious and kind.
· Always be prepared to make mistakes, forgive yourself and learn from them.
· Don’t let fear take over. Fear is good – Nerves are important!
· Be whoever you want to be. You will always be embraced – especially at Charterhouse.
· As a story-teller you have the chance to change someone’s life every day. There is no greater joy.
We wish Dean all the very best as he takes on this new role and we thank him for the talent, enthusiasm and dedication we know he will bring to the Performing Arts at Charterhouse and to our community as a whole.