Page 24 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 24

  Les Mis – second time round
A cast of 150 Dauntsey’s School, Wiltshire, pupils, supported by
a large backstage crew and full orchestra has delighted sell-
out audiences with an inspiring and dramatic production of Les Misérables, the hugely successful stage adaptation of the novel by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo.
This was the second time that Dauntsey’s has undertaken this challenging musical, having staged the premiere 15 years ago in 2002, and was subsequently invited to stage the production in the West End.
The show received standing ovations from audiences of more
than 600 each night. The cast was made up of pupils from years 7 to 13; for some this was their stage debut. Backstage, the School’s hi-tech sound and light system, worthy of a West End theatre, created a stunning backdrop for this dramatic musical.
The orchestra, made up of 35 musicians, both pupils and members of staff, performed the famous score with great skill and sensitivity.
The December production has become a musical tradition for Dauntsey’s and Les Misérables follows shows including Mamma Mia, Miss Saigon, and Billy Elliot.
Venture into the woods
Students at The Kingsley School, Warwickshire, staged a production of ‘Into The Woods’ to packed out audiences and standing ovations.
A cast of girls aged between 13 and 18 rose to the challenge of performing the dif cult Stephen Sondheim musical, based
on interweaving stories and consequences from The Brothers Grimm fairytales, after beginning rehearsals in September. The cast featured girls from all ages in lead roles.
All the cast bene ted from
the experience of working with freelance director, teacher and co- founder of The Drama Club, Aaron Bixley, alongside Kingsley’s Head of Music and Musical Director, Julian Smith.
Mr Smith said, “It has been a privilege to work with the girls on this demanding production. It is a dif cult sing and a dif cult play
at a professional level - they didn’t just rise to the challenge, they
raised the bar and  ew away with it. I am immensely proud of each and every one of them.”
  24 Music & Drama

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