West End actress, Katie Hall, who played Cosette in both the famous West End production of Les Misérables and the 25th Anniversary O2 Arena Concert, visited Cheltenham College to run a workshop with the pupils who are taking part in the schools very own production of the musical.
Jess Steel (5th, Q) said, “We were fortunate enough to hear Katie perform ‘On My Own’ to us to begin the workshop, and we then had a 30 minute Q&A where we got to know a bit more about the industry and her favourite roles and plays. We then performed ‘One Day More’ for her from the show and she got us to engage in ‘hot seating’ in order to further explore our characters, which we could then add to the performance.”
At the age of 17, actress Katie took part in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s programme, ‘I’d Do Anything’, for a chance of playing the part of Nancy in Oliver. Since then, Katie has been in many shows in London, including playing the part of Cosette in Les Mis, and appearing in the 25th Anniversary Concert. She has also played Christine in The Phantom Of The Opera, Joanna in Sweeny Todd, and most recently has been in Fiddler On The Roof.
“After hot seating,” Jess added, “we were lucky enough to have an hour in which Katie helped us improve two key songs from the play in a smaller ensemble. It was an amazing and very productive experience, and has definitely got the cast even more in the Les Mis spirit, ready for opening night!”
Director of Drama, Mrs Sian McBride said: “This is the tenth large scale musical I have directed, but I was still truly daunted when faced with the mammoth task of staging this much-loved epic production. I have spent many sleepless nights worrying about how to represent a barricade or how to stage a believable battle fought between the army and the revolutionaries of the failed 1832 uprising. It is knowing that so much of what we present is based on real events that drove me to produce a work which captured the bravery of those men.
“I hope the audience are filled, not with a sense of futility at the great sacrifice these characters make, but with pride and respect for these brave young man and all those who have come after them who have made similar sacrifices for what they believed to be right and true.
“This show not only reflects the hard work and talent of the cast and crew, but is also a testament to the supportive culture at Cheltenham College, which truly celebrates and values the importance of the Arts.”