With the recent success of Les Miserables at the box office this year it’s no surprise that the play the film is based off has became popular with a number of independent theatre groups. The most ambitious of the productions has to be from the Act On Theatre Group based at the YMCA in Consett. This youth theatre group, ran by 21 year old Jenn Rogan, is looking to go one step further and give this classic musical all of the justice it deserves. After well received performances of Sweeney Todd and Westside Story, Les Miserables will be an outstanding performance from this young and talented cast.
Aged 12 and above, Act On have dedicated their Monday and Friday nights to making sure the performance goes as smoothly as possible. Although many of the people involved in the production are young, the professionalism shown by these young people is second to none. Les Miserables is certainly not an easy choice of production but the senior members of the group all do their part to help teach the younger members about the important techniques that will prepare them for the stage for years to come.
Anyone who is familiar with Les Miserables will know it is a play that contains some dark themes throughout the production. Unemployment, single parenthood, violence, prostitution and alcoholism are all integral to the tale that has the ability to be picked up and moved to any time or setting yet still have the original intended message left intact. It takes a level of understanding and empathy to be able to translate these themes to the audience, which the group delivers in huge amounts. To take something so dark and mature as seriously as they do is a credit to the group themselves. Director and producer Jenn Rogan when asked about the production said “it’s an honour to direct such an iconic musical and work with such a talented and professional cast”.
Act On will be performing in Les Miserables School Edition at Consett Empire Theatre July 9-13th 7pm evening shows Saturday Matinee 2pm. Tickets are £7/£5 Concessions and available from Consett Empire Theatre Box Office 01207 218171.