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Les Mis celebrates 25 years with Barbican homecoming

Published 15 March 2010

Fans of hit musical Les Misérables will be doubly excited this autumn when the touring production of the West End long-runner comes to London’s Barbican theatre to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary.

With the current London show continuing to play to packed houses at the Queen’s theatre, it will be the first time anywhere in the world that two productions of the same musical are playing simultaneously in the same city.

When Les Misérables performs its limited run of 22 performances at the Barbican between 14 September and 2 October, it will be a homecoming for the show which originally premiered at the venue in 1985.

The touring production, which opened in Cardiff in December 2009 before embarking on a UK tour, features brand new direction and design, but has a pair of experienced hands in the central roles of Jean Valjean and Javert. John Owen Jones (Valjean) has previously played the role of the former convict at both the Palace theatre and Queen’s theatre, and has the accolade of being the youngest performer ever to take on the part, first playing him at the age of 26. Earl Carpenter (Javert) made his West End debut when he joined the cast of Les Misérables at the Palace theatre in 1996, and went on to play the driven police inspector at the Queen’s theatre in 2008.

Jones and Carpenter are joined in the cast by original Avenue Q leading man Jon Robyns (Enjolras) and former pop star and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat leading man Gareth Gates (Marius).

The Trevor Nunn and John Caird-directed version of Les Misérables, which currently plays at the Queen’s theatre, is the longest running musical in the history of the West End, having taken the title from Cats in October 2006. The tale of struggle and strife in revolutionary France has now been seen by 56 million people in 42 countries and 21 languages.



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