Alfie Boe, Nick Jonas and Matt Lucas will star in a one-off concert production of Les Misérables at the O2 on 3 October, the culmination of the musical’s 25th birthday celebrations.
The concert means not one but three productions of the French revolutionary musical will play in London this year. As well as the original production at the Queen’s theatre, the 25th anniversary touring production comes to the Barbican theatre – the show’s original home – between 14 September and 2 October.
The O2 concert will feature a cast of over 300 actors and musicians, including many former West End and Broadway cast members of Les Misérables. Leading British tenor Boe heads the cast as former convict Valjean, with Broadway star Norm Lewis as the police inspector who is hunting him, Javert. Little Britain and Shooting Stars comedian Lucas returns to the stage to play Thénardier, with Les Misérables legend Jenny Galloway as Madame Thénardier and international musical star Lea Salonga as Fantine.
Nick Jonas, a member of the pop band The Jonas Brothers, takes to the stage as Marius, a role he will be playing at the Queen’s theatre for three weeks from 21 June. Jonas is no stranger to the musical, having played Gavroche in the Broadway production for nine months.
Members of the original 1985 cast will join them on stage, along with the current stars of the West End and Barbican productions.
Based on Victor Hugo’s novel, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg’s musical opened at the Barbican theatre on 8 October 1985. At the time, the outlook for the musical was bleak. David Burt, who played Enjolras in the original cast, told Official London Theatre: “We truly felt that it was going to open and it would be scuttled by the critics, and we felt that the knives were out.”
Though the critics did indeed give the show less than positive reviews, it struck a chord with the public, who arrived in droves. Since then Les Misérables has been seen by over 56 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages.