Les Misérables – 29th and 30th November

In September 2021, we started rehearsing for Les Miserables. This was to be our first musical since ‘We Will Rock You, which went on stage in November 2019 – just before the world changed due to Covid19. Unfortunately, the pandemic impacted several cast members from September to November, meaning a delay from our original dates to the end of December 2021 was proposed. This again was affected by the second wave of the pandemic and eventually led to a complete cancellation of the show – a first for me in the 15-odd shows I have been involved with over my career, and it felt like a real low point for myself and the cast. 

We picked up rehearsals again in September of 2022, with both new cast members and two new staff members – Mr. Claflin and Ms. Platt. Both have been an asset to the team, with Mr. Claflin helping to stage many scenes and Ms. Platt working with our vocalists. Miss. Warren has also been running a dedicated and hardworking backstage team. 

I have been incredibly impressed by our students who remained with us from the beginning, despite the setback of the cancellation. They have shown a huge amount of resilience, a Hyland’s Habit, and their commitment to the show has been second to none. George, Jenny, Keiran, Thomas, Elliott, Megan, Dylan, Rhys, Olly, Charlie, Freddy, Fran, Leon, Aiden, and Jade – you are what makes Hylands a great place to work and an incredible community – you are a credit to yourselves, your parents and us as a school. Equally, our new cast members and crew have been exceptional in their commitment to the show, and there is some real talent there, which I look forward to working with over the coming years. Everyone in the cast and crew, both old and new, stepped up to make this a show to be proud of. 

I’d also like to mention our year 13s, many of whom have been involved in the shows all the way through their school career – Oliver Hands, Jennifer Thomas, and Charlie Skinner. I’m sure Charlie and Oliver won’t mind me sharing a photo of them in Year 9 when they were in Aladdin!

I have hugely appreciated both their commitment and the talent they have brought to the stage during their time at Hylands and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

The show was a fantastic success; our Chair of Governors, Clare Norton, wrote to me and said:

All of the actors were great, but particularly noteworthy were Marius, Cosette, Javert, Jean Valjean, Mr. and Mrs. Thenardier, Epionine, Enjolaras, and Gavroche. Some of the singing was breathtaking, giving me goosebumps! It was also such a pleasure to see lots of year 7 students taking part – I will certainly look forward to seeing more from them in the future.”

We were even honored to have the Mayor of Chelmsford attend our show on the opening night, as well as Lawford Mead and Writtle Junior school year 6 students for our matinee. 

We look forward to seeing you all at the next show!

Mrs. Adams-Howell

Head of Creative Arts and Technology