I frequently wax lyrical about how many incredibly talented people live on the small island of Jersey. Visitors to the island that were in the audience at the Opera House last night to see the Jersey Amateur Dramatic Club’s performance of Boublil and Schonberg’s Les Miserables could have been forgiven for thinking they were in the West End.
A little over a year ago the Jersey Evening Post published an article entitled Fancy a part in Les Mis? West End show coming to the Island next year. The JADC were stunned to have been granted the performing rights by Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. to stage the full West End production of Les Mis and were looking for talented singers and actors to join their members in the 70-strong cast. You just sensed it was going to be good, especially after you had read that the dynamic Dominic Ferris was going to be the Musical Director.
The auditions started in September 2015 and since the 13th July 2016 that 70-strong cast have wowed Jersey musical theatre lovers by giving them that West End experience to a packed Opera House.
Directed by Carol Ruderham and produced by Alan Cadoret, both long-term and stalwart members of the JADC, who should both be feeling immensely proud of themselves. Les Mis is one of my musical favourites. I have laughed and cried my way through countless productions and last night was as good as any I have seen.
It is during a performance like this that you have to pinch yourself so that you remember you are at an Am Dram performance and that the cast, crew and members of the orchestra all have day jobs. There were some terrific individual performances, notably Edmundo Freitas as Thenardier, Zac Hamilton as Marius and Rachel Labey as Eponine, her first principal role and it certainly won’t be her last. Also Scott Livingstone as Enjolras whose board treading I have followed since Jersey’s STOMP days, along with other young Jersey performers.
For the last few years, Dominic, who refers to Jersey as “his second home”, has been bringing his West End Experience to Jersey. Where to start with Dominic … to say that he is one of the most exciting and enthusiastic performers around, is probably an understatement. Incredibly musically talented. The best pianist I have ever seen perform and a great lover of the musical theatre. He can cram 33 Sondheim numbers into 5 minutes and make you feel like you have just witnessed a fully blown production. Get the picture? His enthusiasm is infectious and everybody involved in last nights performance had caught it.
Jaw-dropping talent exuded from the stage last night and for those of you who haven’t seen the show yet it runs until 23rd July 2016. Don’t miss it.
JADC and Dominic Ferris you are a hard act to follow. What’s your next show-stopper going to be? Whatever it is, I’ll book my seat now.