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Evening Gazette

By EDDIE JOHNSON

SIXTY-SIX young people take the unusual opportunity of staging on Teesside the schools' version of this outstanding, spectacular, award winning musical drama. The stories of several people living in France in the period 1815 to 1832 are interwoven in this production based on the writing of Victor Hugo. This version follows very closely the professional work which has proved an outstanding worldwide success.
The mammoth effort presents an intriguing spectacle and is directed by Ray Burton, who has w ritten the scripts for several musical plays for young people and has directed a variety of plays and musicals in Middlesbrough.
Steve Catchpole, the musical director and Wendy Lowe, in charge of movement, are also to be congratulated.
The show opens with Jean Valjean, competently played by Philip Sanderson, who is imprisoned for stealing bread to feed his sister's son.
He finds that his release on parole after 19 years on a chain gang only condemns him to be an outcast as he has to display a yellow ticket of leave. Further crime brings him the forgiveness of a bishop, a new start in life, and the opportunity to help others during times of severe unrest. But he is still hunted by Javert, a figure devoted to the rule of law, commandingly played by James Hare.

 
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