CALLOUS thieves targeted a youth production of Les Misérables, stealing props and equipment worth up to £4000.
The robbers struck on Tuesday night just hours after the curtain fell on the sold-out musical performed by the Forth Children’s Theatre group at Inverleith Church.
A video camera and laptop needed for precise sound cues were taken, while a 16-year-old guitarist with the band was left devastated after her prized instrument was swiped.
Despite the setback, the youngsters exhibited classic “show must go on” spirit and – against the odds – managed to perform the musical the following night. Problems with replacement equipment on Wednesday delayed the show by ten minutes, but group chairman Mark Gorman said the 44-strong cast – aged between seven and 18 – rallied to give a “phenomenal” performance.
He said: “We’ve used the hall at the back of the church for 30 years and never had a break-in. It seems they forced open a side door and made off with whatever they could carry.
“They even took a Victorian army jacket worn as the costume for one of the lead characters – Javert the policeman – which we think they used to wrap it all up in.
“They also stole an electric guitar belonging to our guitarist who got it as a 12th birthday present. She had taken it home every night but had left it behind after Tuesday’s show. She was understandably distraught and could not perform on Wednesday night without an instrument. But we’ve had many people coming to our aid and offering guitars for her so she could return last night.
“The group were pretty stoic when they learned about what happened. It really was that old cliché of the ‘show must go on’ and they all pulled together.
“The sound guy’s laptop with all the sound cues was stolen. He got a replacement in time, which had a few problems, so we started ten minutes late. A woman also took unwell and fainted during the show so we had everything happening. But everyone gave their all and the show was wonderful.”
The video camera used by the band so they can see the show from behind the curtain and take their cues was stolen, along with an iMac computer and camera lens belonging to Mr Gorman.
He added: “The computer had photographs I had taken of the show and the lens was for the cameras I used, but thankfully I had the images backed up on a memory stick.
“But the show has been a triumph and this won’t spoil it.”
The show, which debuted on Friday, is set to run until tomorrow and has sold out all of its 1800 tickets.
A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating after Inverleith Church was broken into some time between 11pm on Tuesday and 5pm on Wednesday, and a number of electronic items were taken. Anyone who was in the Inverleith Gardens area and noticed any suspicious behaviour is urged to contact police on 101.”