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Les Misérables School Edition

26 March 2019

BIS Abu Dhabi has some of the most talented actors, singers and performers in the whole of the UAE. That assertion was turned into proof last week in an incredible production of Les Misérables.

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BIS Abu Dhabi has some of the most talented actors, singers and performers in the whole of the UAE. That assertion was turned into proof last week in an incredible production of Les Misérables. Known world-wide for its vast complexities, its rich and relentless musical score, its mature themes and its emotional demands, this is not a musical that a production team takes on lightly and without risk.

But I can say now, without doubt, that this amazing experience has transformed the confidence of many of our cast and crew members, instilled belief that you can achieve what you want to achieve and has allowed team members to form unbreakable bonds. The power of the arts has been demonstrated in one long, but exciting journey.

They say a picture paints a thousand words. You can look at any of the many photographs posted on social media and see the emotions in the eyes of the performers – anyone who was privileged to watch this performance can testify that each member of the cast lived and breathed every second: that is remarkable.

Such productions don’t just happen. This one, in particular, takes careful planning and there are some people who gave over months of their lives to ensure that our wonderful production became the success it was. Michelle Bird is an all-rounder and provided organisation, communication between channels, marketing expertise, choreography and guidance to many people from day one of this process. Jo Heather’s and Paul Adamson’s artistic vision and remarkable execution of the set turned dreams into reality. Steadfast, hard-working, resilient and, moreover, so talented, Jo, Paul and their team turned a school hall into a believable version of 19th century revolutionary France. And Cathy Watts and her army of costume-makers deserve so much credit for their production of such an amazing array of costumes, which will help costume the department for many years to come.

Under the effervescent and talented directorship of Kate Rochell, the band was the biggest and best we have ever had. Some moments were so heart-achingly beautiful that audience members couldn’t suppress their weeping. The 425-page score is ‘epic’ and Ms. Rochell and her team should be rightly proud of their achievements.

Above all else, what will remain with us forever, of course, is the exceptional acting, singing and performing of the complicated themes. Our students are a credit to themselves, their families and to the school community. Les Misérables is a unique piece of theatre and our students provided us with sheer magic in a week of theatre that will surely go down in BIS Abu Dhabi folklore.   

Mathew Williams
Head of Creative Arts