Les Misérables in Montreuil-sur-Mer: behind the scenes of the show

The Les Misérables show in Montreuil-sur-Mer is back after a two-year absence. An event for all spectators and all volunteers. If the sound and light show is so successful, it is largely thanks to the human adventure it represents.

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In the citadel’s arsenal there is soda. We run, we dress, we team up, we concentrate. The magnificent building with exposed wooden beams has become an anthill, where 300 extras put on their costumes for performances rich in emotion. Commons, soldiers, convicts, bourgeois men and women, children, etc .: you have to imagine 600 costumes to prepare and just as many accessories. These amazing boxes in a 17th century building reflect the human adventure that is the show “Les Miserables in Montreuil-sur-Mer”. “Children who proclaim whole tirades by Victor Hugo, it’s beautiful to see ”, testifies Maxime Berton, the director of the tourist office in Montreuillois in the Côte d’Opale, who himself embodies a convict every year. “The show brings together 500 volunteers who happily meet every year to play Les Misérables. Sometimes there are several generations of Montreuillois participating in the adventure“Like the Coelembier family. Father Marc, along with historical actor Jean-Marie Fontaine, supports Victor Hugo’s costume. His daughter, Lucile, co-president of the show, is also the director of the casting.

An association invested

If the show lasts for eight performances in July and August, the Association “Les Misérables & Compagnie” lives all year round to the rhythm of Les Misérables. It is not so much the exercises that take time – only two out of three sessions are mandatory for extra material before the show – as the preparation of the costumes, the promotion, the creation and repair of the scenery and accessories … “Les Cousettes” in the show meets a dozen Montreuilloises every Wednesday afternoon to pick things up, clean up and iron. During rehearsals, meetings and of course after the show, the volunteers who have become friends meet as a large family around meals, where everyone always has an anecdote to tell.

The citadel, natural surroundings

10 days before the show, the Montreuil-sur-Mer Citadel begins its metamorphosis: the control room, the lights and the grandstands with room for 1,500 people are installed. Almost the entire historic space, approximately 3 hectares, becomes a performance hall in itself: the buildings, the chapel, the walls, the trees, each individual natural and cultural heritage element can serve as support for the various stages. La Poudrière and its magnificent pointed vault welcome prop makers. Behind the Tour de la Reine Berthe, the site is occupied by about twenty horses from the Cavalry Association. They click their hooves on the cobblestones during impressive cavalcades. Do you want to feel privileged? In the small garden of the citadel you can experience the show in VIP mode for € 50, with champagne, petit fours, discovery behind the scenes and a meeting with the director and Victor Hugo himself! Memorable.

Do you want to join the adventure? It’s simple, deal on the site www.lesmiserables-montreuil.com, the volunteers tab and then sign-ups. Joy and pride await you!

The association “Les Miserables”, the Tourist Office – 11/13, rue Pierre Ledent, – 62170 Montreuil-sur-Mer inscriptions.miserables@gmail.com

Les Miserables, Montreuil-sur-Mer, 29, 30, 31 July, 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th August 2022. Tel. : 03 21 06 72 45. www.lesmiserables-montreuil.com

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