DIRECTOR Lisa Gilmour’s third show for this talented company contained all the ingredients for success, and Caroline Egg (producer) ensured the proof was in the pudding. A well-lit, visuallystunning, set provided the perfect staging for this popular musical, with excellent accompaniment from Rachel Cooper’s orchestra.

The girls in the cast impressed the most, with Emily Hindle (Fantine) setting the standard with an impassioned I Dreamed a Dream and 13-year-old Freya Burnside capping her own mature performance with a show-stopping rendition of On My Own. Debutant Hannah Birtley certainly wasn’t overshadowed in such company, acting sensitively and singing impressively in the emotional closing scenes.

Patrick Bolton, a company regular, was the best of the boys, as the obsessive Javert, but Will Jones ran him close as the unscrupulous landlord Thenardier, aided and abetted by the lively Sophie Barnard as his wife. There were no glum faces during the standing ovation.