There are some shows which the cast can’t seem to get enough of, and Les Misérables is one of them. Several previous cast members are currently back on stage in the production for One Day More (and then another sixteen weeks after that), when the show temporarily moves to the Gielgud Theatre.
A slightly different production to the one previously at The Sondheim Theatre (formerly Queen’s Theatre), this limited run will be a fully-staged concert version, with over 65 musicians playing in the accompanying orchestra.
So, who are these returning stars in their multitudes? And what’s their history with Les Misérables?
Carrie Hope Fletcher
One of the lovely ladies returning to Les Misérables is Carrie Hope Fletcher.
Les Misérables was Carrie’s West End debut, as she played the adorable role of Young Eponine at the sweet age of nine in 2001. Fast forward twelve years, and Carrie went on to play this same role once again, but this time she was all grown up, and so was Eponine. Carrie is currently the only British actor to have performed both young and older Eponine in Les Misérables.
She’s also performed the role in the musical’s 30th Anniversary gala performance, and globally in Dubai. In fact, Carrie is the longest-running Eponine in the London production’s 30-year history, performing in 959 shows!
But you won’t be hearing her sing “On My Own” this time round, as Carrie will be playing the role of Fantine in the upcoming version.
We’re already dreaming a dream about seeing Carrie perform once again in this iconic show!
Not only did Michael Ball also make his West End debut in Les Misérables back in 1985, but he also originated the role of Marius Pontmercy in the show. Performing in the Les Misérables world premiere, Michael is an original cast member of this incredibly iconic show. As well as performing at the Barbican for the show’s first-ever performance, Michael also took to the stage at the Palace Theatre during the West End transfer.
Michael has also performed on three Les Misérables cast albums as Marius, including the Original London Cast album, the Complete Symphonic Recording and the 10th Anniversary concert edition.
Now 34 years later, after making an incredibly big impact in the original production (apparently it was quite a hectic scene at the stage door!), Michael is back, but this time he’s also taking up a new character, on the other side of the revolution, playing Javert.
Returning to reprise his previous role of Jean Valjean, Alfie Boe appeared in Les Misérables in 2011, the same year that Matt Lucas joined the show.
But before treading the West End boards as prisoner 24601, Alfie had previously performed the role in the concert edition for the 25th-anniversary celebrations. He was then cast full-time in 2011 in the full production. Alfie has also been chased by Javert in the Broadway revival in 2015, taking over from Ramin Karimloo.
As well as having a long history with Les Misérables, Alfie is also connected to Michael Ball, who is playing his arch-rival in this new production. Alfie and Michael have toured together, recorded three albums together, released three singles as a pair and sang together many times on stage too. Basically, this show is a bit of a reunion for Alfie and Michael!
If anyone encompasses the song, I Dreamed A Dream, it’s Matt Lucas. A huge musical fan during his childhood, Matt dreamed of being on that famous revolving stage since the moment he first saw it at the age of 13.
And his dream came true, when he was asked to perform the role of Thénardier, the wicked innkeeper, at the Les Misérables 25th anniversary celebration. The only cast member who’d never appeared in a stage production of the show, Matt’s journey was documented by the BBC. And he clearly impressed the audience and the producers, as he went onto perform the same role the following year for three months.
Just like Michael, Matt has also dueted with Alfie Boe on one of his many albums.
One of Carrie’s co-stars during her last run in Les Mis was Rob Houchen. And just like Carrie, he’s back, reprising his role of Marius for the staged concert. As well as holding up the barricades of the Queen’s Theatre, Rob has also performed in the show on a global scale, taking part in the Les Miserables 30th Anniversary show in Japan.
A very recent performer in the show, Bradley was playing the lead role of Javert when the final curtain came down on the previous production only a few weeks ago. And now he’s already back, this time playing Enjolras. No stranger to that particular character, before his time on the West End barricades, Bradley had played the role of Enjolras in the 30th Anniversary production.
Also reprising her previous role in the new production, Katy Secombe will play Madame Thenardier. Katy has performed in the iconic musical both on stage and on screen, as she landed the part of Madame Huchloup in the 2012 Academy award-winning film adaptation of the show.
Katy Secombe has played the role of Madame Thénardier for three productions of the show, including the 30th Anniversary Cast production.
For three performances a week, the role of Jean Valjean will be played by John Owen-Jones. Just like his fellow cast members, John has also performed in Les Misérables many times before.
He first played Jean Valjean at just 26 years old, making him the youngest person to ever play this difficult role. John had previously understudied Jean Valjean, and had also performed the roles of the Factory Foreman, Feuilly, Grantaire and Enjolras before taking over the role full-time. He even performed within the choir of the 10th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1995.
John returned to play Jean in 2005 for two years (with a few months off to be in another show…busy bee!). As well as playing Jean Valjean for London audiences, John has taken the role over the pond, performing in American productions. The last time John performed in Les Misérables was in 2009, as part of the 25th Anniversary International tour. Welcome back John!
Playing the role of Montparnasse in this production, Adam has previously performed as the Factory Foreman, as well as being the first cover Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. As well as a strong resume filled with both West End and Broadway shows, Adam also performs around the world in several groups, including VOXX – The West End Tenors, The 12 Tenors and The Opera Boys.
And that’s not even all the cast who’ve previously been in other productions of Les Misérables. Here’s a full list of the other performers in the show who aren’t stepping onto the barricades for the first time:
- Rosanna Bates (Factory Worker) made her professional debut as Fantine.
- Ciaran Bowling (Swing) has also been a Les Mis swing.
- Simon Bowman (Bishop of Digne) has played Marius and Jean Valjean in the West End and performed in the Les Misérables Concert.
- Oliver Brenin (Swing / Dance Captain) has also been a Swing / Dance Captain in the show.
- Earl Carpenter (Bamatabois) has performed as Javert in the Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Production. He’s also co-produced five symphonic presentations of Les Misérables in Concert.
- Vinny Coyle (Feuilly) has previously been a Swing, a Cover Grantaire and a Factory Foreman.
- Samantha Dorsey (Whore) has previously played Cosette.
- Tamsin Dowsett (Locket Crone) has played Crone/Cover Madame Thenardier
- Nicola Espallardo (Factory Worker) appeared in the ensemble in the West End.
- Celia Graham (Factory Girl) has played Cosette and performed in the 25th Anniversary concert.
- Barnaby Hughes (Courfeyrac) has performed the role of Combeferre in the West End.
- Holly-Anne Hull (Whore) has been in the ensemble and as cover Cosette in both the international tour and in the West End.
- Oliver Jackson (Claquesous) has appeared in the West End production.
- Christopher Jacobsen (Warnings) has appeared as Enjolras and Alternate Jean Valjean, and was 1st Cover Jean Valjean in the 25th Anniversary international tour.
- Gavin James (Factory Foreman) has performed over 1000 times in the West End production as the Bishop of Digne/ Combeferre, has sung the concert in various locations and at the Olivier Awards, performed in the 25th birthday celebrations and provided vocals for the film.
- Ciaran Joyce (Joly) has performed many roles in the show, including cover Marius and cover Grantaire in the international tour, Gavroche and Montparnasse in the West End.
- Katie Kerr (Madame) was in the recent production.
- Sarah Lark (Assistant Dance Captain / Swing) is reprising her role from the recent West End production.
- Joanna Loxton (Assistant Dance Captain / Swing) is reprising her role, and has also been on the UK tour and taken part in the 25th-anniversary concert.
- Craig Mather (Combeferre) has performed in the West End production.
- Stephen Matthews (Babet) has performed in the Palace production, in the film adaptation and at the 10th-anniversary concert.
- James Nicholson (Jean Prouvaire) performed in the latest production.
- Rosa O’Reilly (Whore) has been understudy Eponine in both the international tour and Barbican production, took part in the 25th-anniversary concert and appeared in the film.
- Claire Parrish (Swing) has been in the West End in the ensemble.
- Sophie Reeves (Whore) was first cover Fantine in 2016.
- Leo Roberts (Brujon) has performed as Javert and The Bishop of Digne in the West End.
- Raymond Walsh (Grantaire) has been in the West End production.
- Gemma Wardle (Factory Worker) played Eponine in the West End at just 17 years old. She also performed at both the 10th and 25th-anniversary concerts, and even played Eponine at a private performance for the Queen.
- Andrew York (Lesgles) is reprising his role from the latest West End production.
Possibly our favourite story is about Grainne Renihan who in this concert plays Hair Crone. Her time playing Fantine made her the longest holder of that role in the show’s West End history. She is returning to the show alongside her son Ciarán Bowling, who she was pregnant with whilst playing Fantine in the 1996 cast, AND her sister Lizzy was in the show with her in the early 90s. A proper family affair!
The Sondheim Theatre will reopen on 18 December with the acclaimed New Production of Les Misérables.