Charles Chan is well known in the Fil-Aus community in Sydney for the various volunteer roles he undertakes. He is also known for being host and performing in community and private events. Not many may know that he is also a stage actor! He is set to perform for the third time as part of the Ensemble in the musical play Les Miserables. The last time he was in this play was sixteen years ago.
Les Misérables, or Les Mis or Les Miz as it is colloquially referred to, is a sung-through musical and an adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same name, by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel and Herbert Kretzmer. The original French musical premiered in Paris in 1980 with direction by Robert Hossein. Amateur rights are released worldwide from time to time and this year, Peter Novacovich, the musical director and producer of the amateur version of the show has been granted the right to stage this musical in Campbelltown through his WOFTAM (World of Fie Theatre and Music) Production. This is Peter’s 4th season in presenting Les Mis with Charles being in the third season production in 2006 and in the second season in 2004.
We are also pleasantly surprised to know that Charles also played the role of The Engineer in Miss Saigon in 2009! Let us see when he gets to reprise that role again.
The Australian Filipina caught up with Charles and got to ask him a few questions about his involvement in Les Mis.
*What did you enjoy most in doing the previous productions?
Being in the ensemble, because I enjoyed portraying different characters and the quick costume change. It can really be quite challenging. The other aspect I enjoyed was the talented people that I work with.
*What were the challenges you experienced then and in the new season?
At this stage is the memorisation of all the songs and the individual lines that I got given. Sometimes it could be overwhelming. Another challenge was to be able to project the characters and stay in that character until you exit the stage.
This season, I was allocated nine different characters and I need to do twelve quick costume changes throughout the show.
*What are you enjoying now in the new production and what are you looking forward to it?
I am enjoying the music, definitely the music. It was so powerfully composed and constructed that you can easily be taken to a different place when you hear it.
I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends watch me up on stage after being away from it for 16 years.
*Lastly, what are the dates and time, and venue for this Les Mis production?
The WOFTAM production of Les Mis will be staged over the three weekends during August 12 to 27, 2022 at the Campbelltown Town Hall Theatre, 297 Queen Street, Campbelltown.
For more information about the actual dates and times of the show and for reservations, visit :
Woftam Productions || Les Miserables, Campbelltown (woftamlesmis.com)
Charles Chan was interviewed about his involvement in Les Mis by Radio Tagumpay on June 22, 2202. You can listen to the podcast here.
ADDITIONAL INFO ABOUT CHARLES CHAN
Charles Chan is fifty-five years young, and is the eldest of four children. He has a younger brother and two sisters. His family which hails from Manila, Philippines migrated to Australia in 1986.
He has worked in various jobs, with the most recent one being a Disability Support Worker since December 2016. He recently graduated, (June 24) with his completion of the course on Disability Support undertaken through Ready Health Nursing College. This is in addition to his previous educational qualifications of Associate Diploma in Accounting from xxxxxx.
He has been the broadcaster of Radio Bayanihan which airs on Mondays, 6-7 on 100.3 FM - Macarthur Community Radio - 2MCR . He also co-hosted Sandigan Radio on 88.1FM radio2rdj for three years with Violi Calvert.
His other community roles include being the heart and brain behind the Filipino Lesbian & Gay Community (FLAGCOM) and Friends with his good friend Albert Prias since the group’s formation in 2010. Currently he is the Senior Vice President of the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations (APCO), for which he has been in other roles since the formation of the group in 2010. Charles has been involved with the other associations such as NARRA (National Affiliation of Respectable and Responsible Association) and Plaza Filipino mainly as a Director.