Les Mis without the music promises to be a real treat at Norwich theatre

Final rehearsals are under way at the Sewell Barn Theatre in Norwich for the its next production, a non-musical adaptation of Les Mis�rables.

Directed by Robert Little, one of the theatre's joint artistic directors, the play tells the story of Jean Valjean, his clash with Javert and their many encounters along the way.

Victor Hugo's original novel was famously turned into a musical by Claude-Michel Sch�nberg in 1980. While the version the Sewell Barn is doing isn't the musical, the team is keenly aware that many people have seen and enjoyed the musical in the 25 years since it premiered.

Opening this Thursday, Robert is hoping the alternative style will prove successful, saying: 'I think the thing that has kept people interested in Les Mis�rables over the years is simply that it's a great story.

'Plus there are some scenes which are just great scenes whether they're musical or not.


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'Overall the production promises to be immensely absorbing and a wonderful evening out, based on a great, timeless story.

'It's also an opportunity to see a play that, due the success of the musical version, is not performed very often. A rare treat for our audience.'

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As well as featuring some well-known Sewell Barn faces, the production includes a number of newcomers.

'I've only worked with about six of the actors before,' continued Robert, 'which is great, actually. It's a fantastic opportunity for the theatre company to get lots of new people involved.

'It's a great show to do but it's a tough one as well.

'It's a cast of 25 and there are about 40 people involved in the production in one way or another.'

Rehearsals have also just started for the company's next production, an adaptation of D.H Lawrence's Sons and Lovers, which opens on Thursday, February 23.

Upcoming productions in the current season also include Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors and the world amateur premiere of Company along the Mile, written by Oscar-nominated UEA graduate Tom Bidwell.

The Sewell Barn is a 100-seat theatre based in the grounds of Sewell Park College, formerly Blyth-Jex School, on Constitution Hill. It has produced over 200 plays since it was founded in 1980.

Les Mis�rables runs from Thursday to Saturday this week and Wednesday to Saturday next week, January 18 to 21, with a matinee also on the Saturday.

Tickets can be bought from customer services in the Jarrold store in Norwich, on London Street, or by calling 01603 697248. Visit www.sewellbarn.org for more information.

Do you know an amateur dramatic group putting on a new show? Contact David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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