Les Mis pays off

TAKE A BOW: Variety Theatre Ashburton’s production of Les Miserables drew large audiences. Photo Joanne McCloy Photography
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Three sell-out performances and standing ovations night after night.

That was how audiences responded to Variety Theatre Ashburton’s 2024 production, Les Miserables.

Staged May 17 to 25, the show had a $200,000 budget, a sum likely to be recouped through the high number of ticket sales.

President Jo Hooper said the cost was the biggest for any show Variety had done, but one members thought worth it.

‘‘It was scary for some of us, and some believed that we would do it right from the word go,’’ Hooper said.

The financial outcome would not be known until all bills, including royalties, were paid. But it looked like the show would at least break even.

Ashburton Event Centre manager Roger Farr said it was ‘‘exceptional show’’.

It had sold out for three performances, and almost filled the event centre for the remaining five.

He wanted to thank the public, who had supported the show and been full of praise after seeing it.

‘‘It is up there with the best that we have ever done, the casting and everything was remarkable, you had all the people in the right place, everything sort of gelled and came together really well.’’

 The casting for characters in the show was considered to be ‘‘remarkable’’. Photo Joanne McCloy Photography

Meanwhile, the Les Mis set of a city backdrop, which Variety crafted out of $17,000 of polystyrene, has gone into storage. It is expected to be of use for future shows.

Variety Theatre has not as yet decided what its 2025 show will be. It has a smaller show coming up at the end of this year, a Christmas musical comedy called Nun Crackers, to stage November 7 to 11.