Cameron Mackintosh has announced that for 16 weeks only Michael Ball (Javert), Alfie Boe (Jean Valjean), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Fantine) and Matt Lucas (Thénardier) will lead a large cast and orchestra of over 65 in the concert version of Les Misérables.
Katy Secombe also joins to play Madame Thénardier and for three performances a week, the role of Jean Valjean will be played by John Owen-Jones. Further casting will be announced shortly.
This spectacular staging of the legendary concert, previously seen in London at the Royal Albert Hall and the O2 Arena, will run from 10 August to 30 November 2019 at the intimate Gielgud Theatre next door to the current home of Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre.
Cameron Mackintosh said: “The success of Les Misérables continues to amaze me and break new ground. Despite the fact the show continues to play to 95% capacity we have been obliged to close the production at the Queen’s Theatre for 16 weeks this autumn to do much needed work. This includes restoring the ceiling plasterwork and the auditorium, adding many more lavatories, as well as carrying out major renovations backstage, which haven’t been touched since the 1940s. The theatre was heavily damaged during World War II and has never been properly restored and brought up to modern standards.
“Les Misérables is the only musical ever that has been equally successful on stage, film, in concert and in the classroom. Its spectacular staged concerts are legendary successes, just as popular as the stage show.
“I am thrilled that the plan to keep Les Misérables running in London with a staged concert version on Shaftesbury Avenue during the enforced closure period has attracted such a stellar cast, with Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Carrie Hope Fletcher, John Owen Jones, Matt Lucas and Katy Secombe, who all have a very close personal connection to the history of the show.
“Of course I am a bit miserable that Michael, the gorgeous young actor that created the student Marius in the original production, is now for the first time old enough to play the implacable inspector Javert, an amazing match for Alfie’s career-defining portrayal of Jean Valjean.”
Produced on stage by Mackintosh, Les Misérables is the world’s longest running musical now in its thirty-fourth year in London. Produced on screen also by Mackintosh (along with Working Title and Universal), it is now the most successful movie of an ‘original’ stage musical.
The original London production currently at the Queen’s Theatre (following runs at the Barbican and the Palace Theatre) will play until 13 July 2019 when the theatre will then close for four months of rebuilding work both backstage and in the auditorium as well as adding many much-needed new lavatories to the front of house. This work will also restore architect W.G. Sprague’s original boxes and loges which, along with the entire front of house, were destroyed by a bomb in 1940 and caused the theatre to be closed for 20 years. The restored Queen’s Theatre will reopen in December of 2019 with a new production of Les Misérables continuing its run indefinitely, with a new West End company being put together now.
The new production of Les Misérables, with a separate company, is currently on a record-breaking international tour, sold out a year in advance through to January 2020 which has now been extended to autumn 2021.
Les Misérables is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel with additional material by James Fenton and adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.