Would-be urchins sing up a storm

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 February, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 February, 1996, 12:00am

SOME 200 young performers auditioned yesterday for parts in Les Miserables, due to open in Hong Kong in April.

Director Martin Croft flew to the territory yesterday to audition 150 boys and 50 girls, aged between seven and 11, at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts for two key parts.

Daniel Bunton of Glenealy Junior School, eight, said: 'I practised singing with my music teacher at school a few times before the audition.

'But I didn't practise any acting, even though I know that I have to do acting in the afternoon,' he added.

Daniel admitted he had been nervous performing in front of so many other candidates.

'The other kids are very good, I am just average. I was very nervous when Mr Croft pointed at me to take my turn to sing,' said the Form Four student.

A total of six children will be chosen, three for each of the two roles of orphan Cosette and urchin Gavroche.

Four children will be rotating for the two roles during the performances, playing around four shows a week.

The other two will be trained as the understudies for the parts.

Croft, who was an actor before he turned to directing, said that he was looking for character in the young Hong Kong hopefuls as well as professional competence.

'Their vocals don't have to be too beautiful but they have to be sweet,' he said.

The musical, based on the work by French author Victor Hugo, will be performed in the Cultural Centre.

The winning candidates will be sent to Singapore to receive formal training before the performance.