By Student Reporter, Saffron Collicott
Yet again Hove Park has blown the roof off with another spectacular school show; Les Mis.
It was a formidable performance that left me in awe as well as a fountain of trickling tears. Mesmerising and simply brilliant – Hove Park students enthralled the audience of parents, friends and teachers with a stunning performance of the Victor Hugo’s epic tale.
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century revolutionary France, Les Misérables tells a gripping story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption. Max Bower, played the long suffering protagonist Jean Val Jean with fiery intensity. Alfie Jukes, in the role of young student Marius, is poised, passionate, yet gentle and convincing in his performance, playing superbly alongside his stage love, perfectly-pitched voice of Amy Page, in the role of Cosette.
Providing the emotional torment of unrequited love, Eponine, played by Lily Sitzia, brought the audience to tears. The chemistry between the three of them were exemplary and you could feel the tension surrounding their dysfunctional love triangle. James Fahy's gripping performance of the ruthless policeman Javert created a powerful and sinister air to the tragic tale. The perfect balance to this was Hari and Phoebe's outstanding and hilarious interpretation of the comic roles of corrupt, scavenging innkeepers , showing remarkable skill and excellent comic timing. The chorus was superb and sang with confidence and ease; from the rousing ‘ Do you hear the people sing’, and ‘One day more’, to the mood-changing and melancholic ‘Drink with me’.
The orchestra was well led by Ms Ede, Ms Lloyd and Mr Miles, whose interpretations of the familiar, haunting, often spine-tingling and stirring pieces merely enhanced the sheer drama of the show. Special mention must go to the wardrobe department, the costumes were superb and reflected the period faithfully. Slick choreography ensured the smooth and seamless transition between performances.
Altogether performances were from all the cast was faultless; the key emotions of the story made all the more powerful by the sheer youth of the cast. It’s a very grown up, sobering, and wretched story for such a young group of performers.
Mr Reed, Headmaster, said: “I was staggered by the jaw-dropping, mesmerising and polished performance of these brilliantly accomplished teenagers.” Well done Mrs Woodbridge and the Music and Drama Department!