Messages from Les Miserables transcend the decades

Andrew Symes (John Val John) and James Gander (Javert) star in the Miranda Musical Society's new production of Les Miserables. Picture: Supplied
Andrew Symes (John Val John) and James Gander (Javert) star in the Miranda Musical Society's new production of Les Miserables. Picture: Supplied

Australian musical theatre royalty, Geraldine Turner, will direct Miranda Musical Society's new production of Les Miserables at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre this September.

Turner said LES MIS is always eagerly awaited by fans and new audiences alike.

"I think it is so popular because people are very familiar with it, as it has been revived so often," Turner said.

"The universal themes in Les Mis of redemption and goodness resound with all audiences. It's such a powerful story.

"It's messages of hope, love and the triumph of the human spirit transcend decades with its powerful characters who have left their indelible footprint on the stages of countless theatres over many years."

Turner said it had been a mammoth project for the creative team at Miranda Musical Society.

"There are more than 70 cast members including our wonderful principals, Andrew Symes and James Gander, Laura Garrick, Gavin Leahy, Kyle Nozza, Cheryl O'Brien and Rebecca Carter, Anthony Mason, to name a few.

"I have also added some children throughout, as I want to create a world in which these characters reside. I am trying to be faithful to the text, whilst putting my spin on a few aspects of the story."

Andrew Symes (Jean Val John) and Rebecca Carter (Cossette) from the Miranda Musical Society's production of Les Miserables. Picture: Supplied

Andrew Symes (Jean Val John) and Rebecca Carter (Cossette) from the Miranda Musical Society's production of Les Miserables. Picture: Supplied

The thrilling score is supported by a magnificent professional orchestra and brought together under the masterful hand of Musical Director, Mark Reid.

"The sound this cast produces knocks me off my feet," Reid said. "And I've heard this show sung many times, on many stages. This cast is world class."

Playing the iconic role of Jean Valjean is musical theatre star Andrew Symes from Bonnet Bay.

"I'm so thrilled to be playing Valjean in this production of Les Misérables," Andrew said. "With arguably the most breathtaking score in musical theatre history, this show remains iconic and relevant today because it deals with themes of love, courage, the human spirit and the difficult choices we make which define who we are and what we stand for."

Caringbah singer Rebecca Carter plays the role of Cossette.

"I have been performing in musicals since the age of eleven and have been lucky enough to play some amazing roles including Christine in Phantom of the Opera and Laurey in Oklahoma.

To have the opportunity to play the role of Cossette is a dream come true!" said Rebecca.

Les Misérables holds a very special place in the heart of Penshurst singer Kyle Nozza, who plays the romantic Marius.

"I have always loved Les Mis and I met my partner when I was in a production of it seven years ago!", Kyle said.

This will be the first time on stage for Beverly Hills singer Ava Andrews who plays Little Eponine.

"I love everything about musical theatre - the songs, the acting, the production, the process. I also really love history at school I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of this production!" Ava said.

The other female lead, the tragic Fantine, will be played by Jannali performer Jennifer Parbery.

Jennifer said, "This role has been on my bucket list for a very long time".

South Hurstville's Laura Garrick plays Eponine. "It was one of the first musicals I saw as a young girl and I immediately fell in love with the music. It has always been a dream of mine to play Eponine, so bringing that dream to live is just incredible".

Shire favourite Cheryl O'brien plays the evil Madame Thenardier. Cheryl was in Miranda Musical's first production of Les Miserables in 1993 as an ensemble performer.

"26 years later, with more than 20 shows under my belt, I am thrilled to have been cast in the role of the long-suffering sidekick to Monsieur Thenardier, played by the amazing Gavin Leahy" Cheryl said.

Turner said the singing is exemplary as are the performances of the cast.

"Fans of the show will be pleased. If you have never seen it, then definitely come and see this production," Turner said.

Miranda Musical Society presents Les Miserables at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre, September 25 to 29.