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Valjeans cross the pond, new cast at Palladium

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 18 April 2008

The West End and Broadway productions of Les Misérables are to swap Jean Valjeans next month. John Owen-Jones, currently playing the epic role at the Queen’s theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, leaves the London production to make his Broadway debut in the role on 23 October. Meanwhile, Drew Sarich, presently filling the shoes of Valjean on the Great White Way, takes over in London on 22 October.

Sarich makes his West End debut in Les Misérables. In addition to the Broadway production, his stage credits include Lestat, Jacques Brel… and Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding in New York and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame in Germany.

Owen-Jones leaves the West End after more than two years playing Valjean. It was the actor’s second stint in the role, having previously become the youngest actor ever to take on Valjean at the age of 26.

Sarich joins a cast that includes Hans Peter Janssens as Javert, plus Joanna Ampil, Gary Watson, Edward Baruwa, Chris Vincent, Melanie La Barrie, Cassandra Compton and Claire-Marie Hall.

In other casting news, Fiona Sinnott and Paul Grunert join the cast of The Sound Of Music at the London Palladium on 24 September, along with Simon Burke, who was already announced as replacing Alexander Hanson as Captain Von Trapp.

Sinnott, who plays the Baroness, has stage credits including Sunset Boulevard, Guys And Dolls, Aspects Of Love and Les Misérables. Grunert (Max), has appeared in the West End in Acorn Antiques, Anything Goes and Me And My Girl.

Also joining the cast are Amy Lennox as Liesl and Luke Fredericks as Rolf, both of whom make their West End debuts in the show.

Connie Fisher remains in the production as Maria, playing the role for six performances a week, with Aoife Mulholland performing the other two. Margaret Preece continues as Mother Abbess.

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