“A breath of Paris preserves the soul.”
Having had a brush with Biblical legends in their last play, Oliver Lansley’s “Immaculate”, Southport based Too Friendly Theatre Company are tackling another legend with their next play. Rehearsals are already underway for their production of Johnathon Holloway’s adaptation of Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”. This well known narrative, thanks largest to its position as the UK’s longest running musical, tells the story of love, life and loss during the beginnings of the French Revolution.
Director Cliff Gillies indicated that the play sticks more faithfully to the original source, but still tells the compelling tale of Jean Valjean and his epic battle with policeman Javert. “These two characters are at the heart of the play.” He explained. “It is their struggle into which all the other characters come and go. We witness history through their eyes.”
And what a host of characters there are. The unfortunate Fantine who only wishes the best for the child. The conniving Thernardiers who will do anything to make a quick buck. Marius, the young idealist who wants to change the world for the better. Eponine who just wants to be loved. Such an epic novel requires a larger cast than the Too Friendly are used to, so a call for actors to join the troupe for this production was cast wide.
Founding member of the group, Helen Haygarth, was impressed with the result. “People came from all over! Obviously, many were based in Southport, but people came from further afield like Tarleton and Crosby.” Maths teacher Roseanna Pope, who auditioned for the group and subsequently gained the part of Eponine, indicated she was prompted to audition because of her love for the book. “I also knew the Too Friendly were award winning and had an excellent reputation. I love to act so hoped to be a part of the show.”
Similarly, student Cameron Firth-Cook who has just completed a Drama and Theatre Studies course at Runshaw College was keen to get involved. He said “I want to be an actor so any experience is great. I was really pleased to be cast as Marius, the part I wanted when I auditioned!”. Mike Martinez who lives in Southport and, by day, works as a Pastoral Care worker, was also excited to get involved. “I acted when I was younger,” he admitted, “but hadn’t done anything for a while. I was keen to get back into it. Rehearsals are great fun and the group really are Too Friendly. They have welcomed me openly and I am excited to be part of what is going to be a great production.”
This long running theatre company, who have just celebrated their 15th Anniversary, are staging the production of Les Misérables at Southport’s Little Theatre in March 2016. Don’t miss seeing them.
You can find out more about their comany from their facebook page or their website www.toofriendlytheatre.com
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