Two nights of Valjean, Javert, Fantine and Thernadier owning the stage at Dunraven School’s performance of Les Misérables: the timeless tale of grace, hope, revolution and love in 1800s France. The production, which was directed by Ms Poulter, was considered a massive success, leaving the audience clapping, laughing, and even leaving a few crying.

The whole cast sung their hearts out, the main characters all shone and the orchestra didn’t misplace a note. But this play, based on the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo still displays massive parallels with the world today. The main theme that struck me was what a massive, lasting effect charity has on the world. The play follows Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who got 19 years of hard labour for stealing a loaf of bread. After a kindly bishop gives him shelter, Valjean steals his silverware and escapes. Police bring him back to the bishop, who says happily that in fact he gifted these items to Valjean, and gives him two precious candlesticks as well. This turns Valjean’s life around, and due to his intelligence, he manages to get rich, in doing so helping hundreds of others.

I think that in our society today, things can too easily become all about us. Our jobs, our money, our interests. But we can all learn from the Bishop, who put others before him and in doing so changed the world for not only Valjean but for many. And even though this is all the imagination of a 19th-century French novelist, we can all make changes in our lives, big or small, which can make differences that we can’t even imagine. Be the kindly bishop of Digne, and think of others this 2018.

Oh, and well done to all the actors, crew and musicians which made this year’s production so fantastic!