Show Synopsis

What makes a monster and what makes a man? This is the central question posed to the audience as they enter the tragic world of Quasimodo, a reluctant but obedient prisoner to his keeper and oppressor, Archdeacon Frollo. If you are expecting a happy ending as per the 1996 animated Disney film of the same name, think again! Whilst keeping the epic Disney score, this adaptation is much truer to the darker, more harrowing account of 15th Century Paris as presented in the original 1831 novel by Victor Hugo.

In a somewhat unusual twist on the usual modern musical theatre format, the entire story is told through the constant narration and commentary of the ‘Congregation’, the large company of storytellers who have come together to bring our tale to life. The Congregation initially introduces the audience to Quasimodo, the hunch-backed, hearing impaired bell-ringer of Notre Dame. When he finally summons the courage to disobey his master Frollo and attend the Feast of Fools, he meets Esmeralda, a compassionate gypsy who offers him his first moment of human kindness. But at the same time, Archdeacon Frollo, and the new captain of the guard, Phoebus de Martin, fall in love with the enchanting woman. Before long, we watch all three men willing to turn their lives upside down for a chance of winning Esmeralda’s affection, no matter the cost. Quasimodo and Phoebus’ intentions seem sincere. However Frollo, unable to cope with his lustful feelings, begins a crusade against Esmeralda and all Roma Gypsies that will ultimately test everyone's loyalties and compassion. Before Paris is burned to the ground, will Quasimodo be able to save Esmeralda from Frollo’s lust and anger? Will she return Quasimodo’s affection? How much is Phoebus willing to lose? Who is the true monster of Notre Dame?

Character Information

CHARACTER

AUDITION PIECES

Dom Claude Frollo

(Male, Baritone, Playing Age: Mature)

James Turnbull

Archdeacon of Notre Dame Cathedral, highly respected and extremely pious. Has complete faith in his beliefs and his moral choices, truly believes he has saved Quasimodo and doesn’t see the abuse he has inflicted on him at all. Very intelligent. His obsession with Esmeralda tortures him to the point of madness, and he lets nothing and no one stand in his way.

NOTE - the actor will be required to perform an attempted sexual assualt scene and will be required to be picked up and carried if physically possible. 

Esmeralda

(Female, Soprano, Playing Age: 20s- 40s)

Sarah Marr

A very self sufficient, confident, compassionate and talented woman who has learnt to survive by any means necessary. Not good at following rules. New to Paris and still an outsider to the established Roma community she must soon rely on for support. Has genuine kindness for Quasi, and genuine attraction to Phoebus. Instantly recognises Frollo for the hypocrite that he is. 

NOTE: Must dance a solo dance. Actor will be required to perform in an attempted sexual assault scene and will need to be carried by Quasi. The role involves stage kissing.  

Quasimodo 

(Male, Tenor, Playing Age: Juvenile)

Akhil Gowrinath

Plucked from the Congregation to represent the ‘monster’, the character's disability will be communicated through a hunch in his costume, basic face paint, and a low centre of gravity. Quasimodo has partial hearing loss, and needs to sound hesitant and unsure when he speaks to anyone other than the Gargoyles. Quasimodo is incredibly sincere, but very sheltered and naive. He has been groomed by Frollo and has no real sense of self until he meets Esmeralda and has his first experience of human kindness. His feelings for her are very pure. 

NOTE - an incredibly physical role which involves carrying various cast members around (sometimes whilst singing and climbing!) Quasi describes himself repeatedly as ‘very strong’ and this should be evident in his physicality. No impersonations of a Deaf person when speaking please.

Jehan Frollo

(Male, Tenor, Playing Age: Any)

Rick Qureshi

Claude Frollo's brother. Refuses to follow Frollo into the Church, instead leading a wild lifestyle, drinking and enjoying the company of prostitutes and the much maligned gypsies. His gypsy partner, Florika, gives birth before they both die of ‘the pox’. In his dying breath,  Jehan passes the baby on to Frollo, hoping it will redeem him. A supporting but vital role who only features in the first and last numbers of the show. Can rejoin the congregation when not being Jehan. 

Clopin Trouillefou

(Male or Female Soprano/Tenor, Playing Age: Any)

Didrik Finne

With permission from Disney, this role can be either Male or Female. 

The King or Queen of the Gypsies. A strong leader who keeps the Gypsy community safe as best they can. Very charming and witty. Good at getting out of trouble. Wary of Esmeralda as she is less compliant than other young gypsy women in the town. 

Has substantial solo singing in multiple ensemble numbers. Needs a rousing, engaging voice to get the crowd going. 

Captain Phoebus de Martin

(Male, Tenor/Baritone, Playing Age: 20s-40s)

Jacob Botha

The newly appointed Captain of the Cathedral Guard, he has moved to Paris to get away from the bloodshed and misery of being on the frontline. A very well respected soldier. He is initially completely compliant to Frollo’s questionable demands, but soon he can’t ignore his own moral compass anymore. He falls in instant lust with Esemeralda, but this very quickly becomes genuine love and he is willing to do anything to save her. 

Please note: Role is physical and involves multiple stage fights. Role also involves stage kissing. 

Saint Aphrodisius 

(Male or female, but must be played as male, Tenor/Baritone/Mezzo, Playing Age: Any)

Stephen Chalkley

A stained-glass image that comes to life. One of Quasimodo’s imaginary friends who encourages him and helps him find his inner strength. Sings a solo section at the opening of Act Two. If played by a woman, can be sung up the octave, but must still be presented as male. 

Florika

(Female, Soprano, Playing Age: Any)

Kathryn Cox

A very small role, who encourages the young Frollo to leave the Cathedral and have some ‘fun’. Dies very soon after! Is the mother of Quasi. Returns at the end of the show to sing to her son as he mourns the loss of his only friend, and sings a beautiful soprano counter line over the congregation. 

Father Dupin

(Male, Baritone, Playing Age: Mature)

Paul Hyde

A priest of Notre Dame and Claude and Jehan’s guardian. Is Frollo's original mentor and also the reason Jehan is cast out of the church. Needs to be commanding and authoritative. 

Lieutenant Frederic 

(Male, no solo singing, Playing Age: Juvenile)

Alex Churcher

Lieutenant of the Cathedral Guard and loyal friend to Phoebus. A younger version of Phoebus, remains loyal to his oath as a soldier, even when he knows it doesn’t feel right. 

Doesn’t sing any solo lines, however, we would like to hear Frederic sing the congregation audition piece as he needs to be featured in several small group singing sections, and could have some solo lines in the congregation if desired. 

King Louis XI

(Male, Spoken, Playing Age: Mature)

 

The King of France in 1482. A small, spoken cameo. Can rejoin the congregation when the short scene is over. Doesn’t sing any specific solo lines, however, we would like to hear King Louis sing the congregation audition piece as he could have some solo lines in the congregation if desired. 

Official

(Male, Bartone, Playing Age: Any)

Paul Hyde

A short solo singing section, reads the decree to the town to kick start the hunt for Esmeralda. Very rousing. 

Madam

(Female, Spoken, Playing Age: Any )

Louise Goodge

 

Owner of a brothel and safe haven for gypsies. A short spoken role, tries to protect and defend Esmeralda even when threatened by the Cathedral Guard, very brave woman. Can rejoin Congregation once scene is over. Doesn’t sing any specific solo lines, however, we would like to hear the Madam sing the congregation audition piece as she could have some solo lines in the congregation if desired. 

Gargoyles and Statues

Any gender, any age, various voice types. 

Mike Ellis, Emily Pike, Danielle Kerley, Julie Parker, Paul Featherstone, Stephen Chalkley, Rick Qureshi

 

Quasimodo’s imaginary friends, only speak to him when he is alone. Need to be very encouraging and kind, but also show the tragic shift in mood when Quasi rejects their friendship. Sing multiple solo and small group sections, in harmony.

Congregant

Any gender, any age, various voice types. 

Monica Turnbull, Nichola Dalziel, Joanne McCandlish, Ellie Wade, Susan Foster, Emily Guest, Ellie Newman, Lauren Cox, Simon Ferrier, Will Wilson, Subha Chelvam-Lewis

 

Featured members of the larger congregation, who sing multiple, very important solo lines and small group sections. Need to be strong, clear, confident singers who can engage the audience very quickly with short blasts of information. 

Featured Choir Member

SATB required. 

 

A group of approx 12 - 15 extremely capable singers who can lead the extremely challenging and powerful Latin mass that punctuates the full production. All singing will be off book but setting will be kept simple to aid learning. If preferred, the choir members can also join in with the ensemble sections when not in choir mode. 

Gypsy Dancers

Helen Pennicard, Lauren Cox, Helen Ash, Charlie Dyer, Kathryn Cox, Laura Figge, Simon Ferrier, Alex Churcher

Female dancers to be featured in Rhythm of the Tambourine, male and female dancers to be featured in Tavern song. 

The Congregation

Jane Platts, Karen Wilson, Jill Howlett, Alan Wilkins, Sandra Zeffman, Diana Springate, Dillip Patel, Tom Allen, Mike Zeffman, Martin Guest, Anthony Black, Katherine Andrews, Caron Ireland

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