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Video: Cream of Ireland's young performers to stage Les Miserables at Belfast's Grand Opera House

The cream of young performers from Ireland - north and south - are busy rehearsing for a summer production of the classic musical Les Miserables at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.

A cast of 65 will be performing the production in August - organised by the Belfast School of Performing Arts (BSPA).

Show director James Huish said: "I was thinking about the next show and I thought 'what could we do that is epic?' - and obviously it jad to be Les Miserables.

"The show is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this year so it seemed appropriate. Everyone has heard of it - even people who are not necessarily into musicals know Les Miserables.

"And then I thought I'd take it a step further - and what better venue to stage it than in the iconic Grand Opera House!"

James said several top producers in Broadway, New York, had seen videos featuring some of the main cast members - and they couldn't get over the standard.

Over 700 young people from all over Ireland applied for roles in the production.

"It was just so incredibly difficult to make the final decisions about who would make it into the cast," he added.

Naomi Smyth (19), from Portaferry, Co Down, is playing one of the principle characters, 'Fantine'.

"I had my audition here in the Grand Opera House and then I couldn't believe it when I got the call back We were all up against probably the most talented young performers in Ireland. Everybody was so extremely talented. I'm just so delighted to have got a part," she said.

Les Miserables - the BSPA School Edition - runs at the Grand Opera House from August 19-27 - with matinee performances on both Saturdays.

For tickets go to www.goh.co.uk

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