Hawke's Bay students will be undertaking the "Everest of school performances" this week.

After nearly six months of rehearsals, Lindisfarne and Iona colleges have come together to stage an adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables for five performances starting Wednesday.

The second longest running musical production in the world tells the story of Jean Valjean, a poor French ex-convict and his road to redemption.

Co-director Kathy Atkin from Lindisfarne College said with a cast of 70, most of whom have singing roles, it is an audacious and challenging production.


"The Everest of school performances."

With 12 leading roles, Les Miserables requires a talent pool beyond the resources of many schools.

The addition of several international students, some of whom are French speaking, is just one of many wonderful touches which add to the convincing and outstanding production, she said.

"It is the performances of the students which will resonate most with the audience, and which will create long-lasting memories."

Les Miserables is set to enthral theatre-goers, with its amazingly realistic set, stunning vocal performances and compelling storyline.

The set is breathtaking and the audience will be able to imagine themselves being transported to the streets of 18th century Paris, Ms Atkin said.

"Set director Walt Rutgers and his team of talented volunteers have produced a set worthy of the London stage, it's simply magnificent."

The costumes have all come from professional productions of Les Miserables from around the North Island.

Lindisfarne and Iona colleges last combined four years ago with their production of Godspell.

Les Miserables has been directed by Kathy Atkin (Lindisfarne) and Lisa-Jane Easter (Iona) with music directed by Flemming Kristensen (Lindisfarne).

Opening night will be held on Wednesday from 7pm-9.30pm at Lindisfarne College.

Tickets available from www.lindisfarne.school.nz or either school's offices.