Arts / People scrambling for ‘Les Mis’ tickets

YOU’ll have to rush if you want to get tickets for Cate Clelland’s new production of “Les Miserables”, opening at The Q tonight.

Sam Ward reflects on ‘Empty chairs at empty tables’

It’s the latest big musical to be staged by Free Rain Theatre but this time it’s across the border. When “CityNews” called the box office at the Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre yesterday, they had patrons scrambling for tickets.

Sometimes considered “actor-proof”, although the acting is likely to be very good in this case, the Schönberg/Boublil version of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece has long been talked about as “the world’s favourite musical”, and as “Citynews” has remarked before, it’s been money in the bank over its many years of performance around Canberra.

Loved for its memorable tunes, Canberra music writer Ian McLean will conduct a crack orchestra to perform them, and as Clelland says, because of the “riveting story, great music…and because it was about things that matter” it does in fact provide wonderful roles for both mature and emerging musical theatre performances.

The great humanist-protagonist Jean Valjean will be played by seasoned professional, Peter Cousens, backed by a team of top musical theatre actors.

Among them is Sam Ward, a recent graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, playing the romantic lead, Marius.

At a media call at The Q earlier this week he gave us just a bit of a taste of what audiences can expect of this epic drama as he sang the words, “There’s a grief that can’t be spoken, / There’s a pain goes on and on. / Empty chairs at empty tables, / Now my friends are dead and gone…”

For as well as telling a story of great humanity, “Les Mis” covers a momentous period in European history. We advise getting on the phone for this one.

 “Les Miserables,” at The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, April 4 – 22. Bookings to or 6285 6290.

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