All the trappings

The set of the musical “Les Misérables” features a trapdoor center stage, developed specifically for the version of the musical the school is performing.

The idea for the set design came from staff set designer Alex Kolmanovsky, who has been designing scenery for theme parks and theme architecture all over the world since 1988. 

The trapdoor is central to the plot in a way which will be clear to viewers, co-director Ted Walch said.
With a team of students, Head of Theater Department Rees Pugh has been working on the set for the last few months.

The trapdoor leads to a passageway underneath the stage. Walch explained that before construction started, the carpet below the stage had to be replaced and cleaned the area out so it would be safe for actors to pass through.

The construction consisted of cutting a hole in center stage and replacing it with a board so that space can be used throughout the production.

Because safety is a main concern,  there is a mattress below the stage so when anyone drops down there will be no injury.

The scenery is taken down in the middle of the play by the actors onstage and used for other purposes in the performance. The set is lightweight so the actors in the play are able to move the set around and destroy it in different scenes, Walch said.

“I’m looking forward to the audience discovering the meaning and the story of the play when they see how the actors use the set,” he said.