New casts are about to take over at two of the West End's longest running musicals. From this month, both Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats at the New London Theatre and Les Miserables at the Palace Theatre will have major company overhauls.

>From Monday 17 April, Tom Lucas will play The Tugger and Mark McKerracher will play Old Deuteronomy in Cats. Lucas was a member of the former pop group North & South and starred in the BAFTA-nominated children's programme No Sweat. McKerracher recently starred as Jean Valjean in the Broadway production of Les Miserables and played the title role of The Phantom both on tour in the UK and in the London production of The Phantom of the Opera.

Other newcomers to the Cats cast include Nick Crossley (as Bill Bailey), Robert Hamilton (Carbucketty), Chris Houston (Coricopat), Julie Carlton (Electra), Catherine Terry (Jennyanydots), Sara West (Jellylorum), Matthew Cross (Mungojerrie), Marilyn Wulff (Rumpleteazer) and Rachel Mooney (Tantomile).

Cats, directed by Trevor Nunn, celebrates its 19th birthday in the West End next month. It opened at the New London Theatre on 11 May 1981. In 1996, it became the longest running musical ever to play in the West End or on Broadway.

Meanwhile, at the Palace, Simon Bowman is taking over the lead role of Jean Valjean with Peter Corry (as Javert), Barry James (Thenardier), Mandy Holliday (Madame Thenardier), Niklas Anderson (Marius), Jason McCann (Enjolras), Zoe Curlitt (Cosette), Joanna Ampil (Eponine) and Rebecca Thornhill (Fantine) in Boublil and Schonberg's Les Miserables.

Les Miserables, also directed by Trevor Nunn and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, opened at the Palace on 4 December 1985 and is currently booking until March 2001.