Crunching Les Mis’ numbers


It’s less than a week out from the resort’s most ambitious musical yet. Danielle Kirk tots up some amazing behind-the-scenes figures of Showbiz Queenstown’s dazzling production of Les Miserables.

Total hours put in by everyone in the show, including those spent at the drawing board, in meetings, rehearsing, preparing the set and Memorial Hall – and performing

The estimated cost of the show by the time the curtain rises on Wednesday, committee treasurer Greg Thompson says. That’s $40,000 more than Showbiz spent on Grease last year and double the cost of Wizard of Oz in 2007

Funds already in the kitty – $10,000 from sponsors and $25,000 in grants from the Central Lakes Trust and the Community Trust of Southland. Showbiz has also injected another $20,000 to underwrite the project

Amount spent hiring, transporting and erecting lighting and sound equipment, and working with the orchestra

The price of designing and building a custom set with revolving stage. Showbiz paid half the bill – the rest was met by the Oamaru Operatic and Musical Society, which will use it for its own version of Les Mis next year

Hours the 37 actors and 17 members of the orchestra will have spent rehearsing and performing by the time the curtain comes down on May 23

Amount spent hiring and transporting costumes to and from a New Plymouth business that specialises in period clothing.

Number of seats available over the 10 days – an “unprecedented” 2040 tickets were sold as of Tuesday, Thompson says

Hours spent by four make-up artists, a five-member hair and wig team and 13 dressers working on performers for rehearsals and shows. Wardrobe volunteers alone will mend and iron costumes for two hours before performances then spend an hour afterwards preparing for the next one

The number of props that’ll appear over the course of the night – Mountain Scene is assured this figure will grow by opening night

Hours spent up a ladder rigging lighting and sound equipment, and set-building. Six people spent 16 hours building an extension to the front of the stage and raising it by 150mm to fit the set

Metres of lacing used in boots, bodices and ball gowns – the women all need to be laced and unlaced before and after each show (no volunteers needed)

Hours spent by a volunteer finding props on TradeMe at cheap prices – she spent 40 more hours making props, plus contacting and meeting people about them

The number of mums who ferry the production’s child stars to and from rehearsals

Les Miserables starts its 10-day run at the Memorial Hall this Wednesday at 7.30pm