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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Les Miserables - Review in Kilcullen Blog

From Brian Byrne's Kilcullen Blog

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

 Les Miserables: powerful execution of a grand ambition Just having more than 30 people on stage in the Town Hall Theatre is a big enough challenge in itself, writes Brian Byrne. But then having to carry the massive Victor Hugo story set in pre-revolutionary France in just two hours? A crazy endeavour for an amateur group, but a gamble which had the potential to achieve grand ambition and great execution.

 Kilcullen Drama Group's spring play presentation of 'Les Miserables' is a big juggle of characters, storylines, mood and time. It requires a level of dexterity in direction arguably higher than has ever before been attempted by the group. A dexterity which a big man has displayed in truly magnificent measure. Mischa Fekete has managed to draw together from his disparate cast and Hugo's melee of characters a production which will take a proud place in the annals of a drama group which has been around since the 1930s.

 And it is a wonderful thing to see so many generations of Kilcullen Drama Group all in one production, from the stalwarts of Dick Dunphy, Bernard Berney and Nessa Dunlea to the promising newcomers of Jack Scullion and Mary Kiely. It seems only a few years ago that there was real concern about the eldering profile of the group, but now its membership encompasses all ages and interests and a future for amateur drama here seems assured.

I have no intention of critiquing individual actors or retelling the story of this play. Suffice to say there is drama, pathos, despair, hope, humour and passion, all performed to very high standard. There's also a great lesson in how to use a relatively small theatre space to its absolute maximum. There are performances left to see this week, and I urge anybody with an interest in good stories well told on stage to go along and see for themselves. I guarantee you will come away not just satisfied, but uplifted.

And if Victor Hugo himself could come back to see it, he'd be the one leading the standing ovation for Kilcullen Drama Group's telling of his grand story.

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