Just prior to the actual anniversary date, the tour will visit the Barbican Theatre, where the musical had its world premiere on 8 October 1985, for a run from 14 September to 2 October 2010. Its arrival will mark the first time that two productions of the same musical will run in the same city at the same time.
The stellar tour cast is led by John Owen-Jones and Earl Carpenter as the persecuted Jean Valjean and his policeman nemesis Javert (both men have previously played the same roles in the West End), as well as Gareth Gates as Marius (See News, 29 Jun 2009).
Based on Victor Hugo's classic humanitarian novel set in 19th-century revolutionary France, Les Miserables has a book by Alain Boublil, music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer.
After its premiere at the Barbican, the landmark Royal Shakespeare Company production, adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird and designed by John Napier, transferred, care of Cameron Mackintosh, to the West End’s Palace Theatre where it ran for 18 years and over 7,500 performances before moving down the road to the Queen’s on 3 April 2004 (See News, 21 Nov 2003). On its 21st birthday in 2006, it surpassed Cats as the West End’s longest-running musical. Globally, the musical has been seen by over 55 million people in 40 countries and 21 languages.
The new anniversary production, which launched from the Wales Millennium Centre in December 2009, is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell and designed by Matt Kinley, inspired by the works of Victor Hugo and John Napier. Original costumes are by Andreane Neofitou, lighting by Paule Constable and sound by Mick Potter.