West End Quality on your door step!

The Swansea Amateur Operatic Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I was fortunate enough to see the SAOS production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame last night. It was incredible! I’m not a lover of musicals normally but the quality of this production was absolutely breath taking. The visual impact of the set was stunning. My favourite musical is Cabaret which I was lucky enough to see in the West End recently. Both tales have a dark side to them and question our own personal humanity. Both have a people to despise in the Gypsies and the Jews. And both question the power of lust and love.

The production related the story magnificently and the characters were well-rounded and believable. The choreography was spot on and the singing and dancing of the cast a sheer delight. It moved seamlessly from one act to another and kept you engaged throughout. 

A special mention must go to the main stars of the show.

Connor Edwards, who played Clopin Trouillefou, was the magnificent ‘king of the Gypsies’. He was almost a fun-loving jester, but you felt he could slit a throat at any moment whilst laughing and dancing at the same time. Excellent singing voice and stage presence.

Gareth Iwan Morgan, who played Captain Phoebus, really commanded the stage and has a strong and harmonious voice. He managed at times to convey strength and at other times vulnerability with equal credibility.

Sarah Clatworthy who played Esmerelda was phenomenal. She has an excellent voice and really keeps you engaged. The emotions she portrayed were so diverse yet she was totally convincing whether she was playing defiance or fear. 

Dale Gravell, played Claude Frollo. Every good story needs the bad guy and Dale played the part brilliantly. Again, another actor whose stage presence is immense and has a wonderful powerful voice. This troubled Archdeacon is torn between his God and the promise of worldly pleasures with Esmerelda. He must have her or she must perish. We all followed the journey.

Joseph Giblin played Quasimodo. An excellent performance. His was the emotional journey that underpinned the whole work. A disfigured simpleton, an object of ridicule yet a moral counter-balance to those around him. Joseph was excellent –  stunning voice and brilliant actor.

This, though, was certainly a team effort and the whole cast and production team need applauding. And they were, everyone stood and applauded, whistled and cheered. The A in SAOS might stand for amateur but this was a highly professional performance that would not disappoint gracing a West End Theatre.

By Vince Hotten

2 thoughts on “West End Quality on your door step!

  • May 4, 2024 at 10:51 am

    I couldn’t agree more. I saw the show on Friday night and was totally blown away. The vocals, the choreography, the powerful emotions evoked; definitely a production worthy of its high accolade. There aren’t many shows that make me want to see them again, but I have managed to buy more tickets for tonight’s performance! I can’t wait!!

  • May 6, 2024 at 10:19 am

    Honestly my dude, i caught the saturday evening showing and the quality blew me away, i wasn’t expecting for it to be as good as it was, it was better than some shows ive seen in London in all fairness

Comments are closed.