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EIT involved in award-winning musical

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Les Miserables is one of the world’s most loved musicals and has won over 100 international awards. Over 65 million people worldwide have seen it and Hawke’s Bay is now joining in. Napier’s Operatic Society brings the French musical evergreen to Napier performed by a voluntary but highly talented ensemble.

More than 250 people auditioned for roles. Most surprisingly, more than half of the 60-strong cast and the team engaged backstage are in some way connected with EIT. Deputy chief executive Mark Oldershaw, for instance, is the musical director and is responsible for the singing and the orchestra.

"This is a truly epic production with a massive touring set, costumes and a large orchestra. The last time this production was in Hawke’s Bay on this scale was way back in 2002 so it has been a long time between drinks," says Mark Oldershaw.

"It has been a significant commitment for all involved, however it is shaping to be a very memorable show. The amount of talent in Hawke’s Bay never ceases to amaze me. We have been able to cast the entire show from this region, including some great EIT talent, both on and off the stage."

There are nursing students performing alongside Māori studies, teaching and art students and EIT employees working behind the scenes with props and make-up. Some of the children cast for the show also belong to the wider EIT family. Furthermore, the musical is to be directed by Lisa Jane Easter who was a performing arts lecturer at EIT for many years.

"The show is a reflection of the important anchor EIT has within the community, a place of study and employment for some many people," says Bachelor of Teaching lecturer Kirsty Jones who is taking care of the children involved in the show. "People whose paths never crossed on campus have built strong relationships while rehearsing, which they can maintain through their EIT connection."

"The best thing about Les Mis is the way it drags you in, it is so believable. The audience will go to ‘another place’. The show is ‘next level’," says Kirsty.

The show at Napier Municipal Theatre premiers on 16th of May and closes on the first of June. Tickets can be purchased at the Municipal Theatre box office or online via Ticketec.

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