4 February, 2024

Les Miz enthralls audiences

WITH a full house the Cairns Choral Society brought its 2024 production of Les Misérables to an end with a bang last weekend after 10 performances, more than 8000 spectators across all performances and “night after night” standing ovations.

By Isabella Guzman Gonzalez

A moving scene in Les Miserables performed by the Cairns Choral Society. Picture: Paul Furse, Frontrow Foto
A moving scene in Les Miserables performed by the Cairns Choral Society. Picture: Paul Furse, Frontrow Foto

First presented to the Cairns audiences in 1993 as an amateur production, the Cairns Choral Society brought Les Misérables back to life for the fourth time bigger and more stunning than ever before with amazing costumes and stage production that had more than 800 spectators nightly for the closing weekend.

Les Misérables director Venera Walsh said the community’s response to the production was overwhelming.

“With full houses for both opening and closing weekends, and in between, we are over the moon and grateful to the people of Cairns and FNQ for stepping up and showing out,” she said.

“For our cast of 63 performers and 16-strong orchestra, it’s so wonderful to have this support from our community.

“Closing night was bittersweet. We were sad it was ending but also relieved since it had been a very busy four to five months and, like in all productions, cast, crew, and orchestra have formed strong bonds and friendships.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response, and to receive a standing ovation night after night is so humbling and a validation for all the hard work, long hours and talent, and I am so so proud.”

As an original cast member of Les Miz in 2003 Ms Walsh said she was proud to have brought back the popular production to Cairns now as director.

“I was in the last staging of Les Misérables back in 2003 where I played Madame Thenardier. Never in my wildest dreams did I think 20 years later that I would be directing a return of the show,” she said.

“And I’ve felt very proud to be the director to conclude the society’s 100th year celebrations with Les Miz, alongside musical directors Joanne Wright and Emma Baker and the rest of the talented production team.”

Ms Walsh thanked the Cairns community for breathing new life into the arts by showing so much love to Les Miz.

“We are just so incredibly proud of everyone involved in bringing this epic production to life and we are so thankful to the Cairns community for all their tremendous support,” she said.

“What this says to me is that the arts are alive and well. That people want some escapism so they come to the theatre and immerse themselves in such iconic productions as Les Misérables and get to see the wonderous talent we have to offer here in Cairns.”

To keep up to date with the Cairns Choral Society’s program for 2024, visit


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