Scotch College
Fisher Chapel
Until 03 Aug 2019

Review by Talia Gaertner-Jones

*Review of Paris cast.

Every year I look forward to the Scotch College Musical as they are a school that is never afraid to take risks, nurture their students to be the best performers they can be and always create a warm sense of community around their productions. And this year is no exception. In fact, this year’s production of “Les Misérables” is the best production I’ve seen from the school so far, with them taking their performances to new heights.

Director Linda Williams has trained her students well to create a show that is rich is character and depth equal to any of South Australia’s best amateur theatre companies. Under the Music Direction of Anthony Hubmayer, the performers, leads especially, sound brilliant and the band could almost be mistaken for a recording. A slight flaw is a few mishaps with microphones throughout the night, meaning that some lines were lost here and there as they dropped in and out. The choreography by Nina Richards is simple, strong and effective and never distracts from the narrative.

Ned Baulderstone’s performance as Jean Valjean is one not to miss. From the moment he sang his first line, I let out an audible ‘wow!’. For the fact that Baulderstone is still in school, his voice has the depth and definition of a seasoned performer and his characterisation of Valjean is flawless. As the show progresses and the character ages, Baulderstone’s ability to morph into an aging man telling his story is so convincing and moving that many audiences had tears in their eyes. His emotion and voice during ‘Bring Him Home’ was a beautiful moment.

Hugh Whittle as Inspector Javert delivered an equally mesmerising performance. His voice sounded beyond his years and he spoke and sang with clarity and conviction. Whittle’s performance of “Stars” was another memorable moment. The stillness and strength that he brought into his character was again that of a who has spent years treading the boards.

To counteract Baulderstone and Whittle’s more serious roles, were Sebastien Skubala as Thénardier and Charlie Miller as Madame Thénardier, who again brought everything they had to their roles. There is a fine line between playing characters who err more on the side of comedic than dramatic to go over the top, but Miller and Skubala had the perfect balance and never overstepped the mark. Their performance of “Master of the House” was a showstopping moment.

Georgina Raftopoulos put all her emotion into her portrayal of Fantine and her song “I Dreamed A Dream” and the same goes for Eliza Fabbro as Éponine performing “On My Own”. Harry McGinty as Marius and Mille Brake as Cosette developed lovely chemistry in their scenes together. Mention should also go to Jack Raftopoulos as Enjolras and Felix Setchell as Grantaire for their performances. The ensemble also had their time to shine during “Master Of The House” and “Do You Hear The People Sing”, which was a moving moment.

The stage design by Craig Williams and set design by Brian Budgen was very effective and complemented the performance. Both Williams and Budgen also designed the projection stills for the performance which were some of the best and seamless that I have seen and never detracted from what was happening on stage.

The students, staff and community of Scotch College should be extremely proud of this production. The amount of talent and professionalism involved is outstanding and it is definitely a show not to miss.