Les Miserables Adavanced Masterclass - 31 October - 3 November 2001

If the original masterclass was excellent then this is it with bells on, so to speak. Not only culminating in performing 5 scenes from the show but with the revolve, props, lighting and the 1st Cover Valjean from the current London company. For this masterclass the Director was Andy Reiss and Musical Director was Martin Lowe. The 5 scenes covered were the Prologue (unabridged version), Do you hear the people sing ?, Drink with Me, Turning and The Epilogue.

One the first day I say in a room with 60 strangers and on the last day I was left with several friends and many ensemble colleagues. The whole group was very supportive and a pleasure to work with. Never has hard work been such a joy

Andy’s approach to directing these scenes was excellent, in that prior to any scene he established the history of the characters, the scenes’ place within the story and the effects on the people of events prior to and in the scene. This gave you a great insight into the feel of the scene you were playing and gave you a greater understanding of what you as performer were trying to achieve. I came away feeling more confident and more mindful of what goes into a scene to achieve the realism portrayed in the show. Andy himself has a wealth of knowledge about the show and coveyed this to the class in a very thought provoking way.

Martin, as well as the self proclaimed ‘Best MD in the world’ - a statement he was apparently trying to live down !!’ is a great MD and a great character : ) To witness an MD who obviously loves what he is doing and has a continual enthusiasm and exuburance for gaining the best out of the class even though it must be very frustrating at times as I can’t say the singing from us was spot on all the time. For me a lingering memory will be of him jumping up and down in the pit to get the cast to watch him as they raced on through a piece.

The patience and encouragement of both Andy and Martin made the masterclass a fantastic experience and one which at he moment I don’t want to come down from until I have to. The class ranged in ability from one end of the scale of another but each was encouraged to attain the best level of their individual ability.

It was also great to have a personalised Valjean performance for the masterclass from current Valjean cover Paul Vickers. It was great to see at close hand his Valjean, a performance I would like now to see in it’s entirety.

To be able to perform excerpts from my favourite musical on the west end stage in such a professional medium is something which is so memorable that words cannot truly describe the feeling.

If I could change one thing it would be the number in he class but perhaps the super advanced class will solve that dilemma !!!!!!!

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