LES MIS: Aston van Gosliga, left, and Saul Gibney will be part of the Nelson Youth Theatre’s production of Les Miserables, which opens at the Theatre Royal this Thursday. Photo: Kate Russell.

Youth performers to deliver Les Mis


It’s all love, revolution and redemption for the Nelson Youth Theatre Company, who is ready to kick off a ten performance run of one of the most challenging musicals ever written.

Les Miserables will be opening this Thursday night at the Theatre Royal, running until July 15.

It’s the third time they have performed the iconic show in ten years, after shows in 2007 and 2012.

Director Richard Carruthers says it’s a “firm favourite” with the company.

“It’s the sort of show that has everything, and the performers always want to do it.

“They all say ‘oh my god, it’s Les Mis – we’ve got to put everything into this’, so they are really ready for it now.”

With a double cast of 66, supported by a mixed adult and youth crew of about 70, audiences can expect a powerful three and a half hours of the full West End musical version of the show.

Les Miserables is a musical that is totally sung-through and set against the backdrop of 19th-century France in the years following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo – a time of intense poverty, turmoil and revolution.

And according to Richard, it is one of the longest and most difficult musicals available for amateurs to stage.

“It’s got a number of challenges. It’s long, so it’s challenging to rehearse, the singing is challenging, and some scenes, such as the barricade scene, are difficult.

“But, for many it’s their sixth to tenth musical and we also have a few older actors playing some of the roles.”

The Nelson Youth Theatre Company was founded in January 2000, and to date has produced over 160 shows and run over 50 professionally-taught theatre courses for young people in Nelson.

Later this year they will be performing The Little Mermaid and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Les Miserables is on at the Theatre Royal from 6 – 15 July. Tickets are available from the Theatre box office or www.ticketdirect.co.nz