West End musical veterans Jerome Pradon, Rosemary Ashe and Paul Manuel lead the changes in a major revamp to the cast of Les Miserables. The three - along with Michael Sterling, Sophia Ragavelas, Hadley Fraser and Helen French - take over their new roles in Boublil and Schonberg's blockbuster musical, now in its 17th year at the West End's Palace Theatre.

Jerome Pradon (pictured), who plays Javert, has previously starred in the West End in Whistle Down the Wind, Martin Guerre and Miss Saigon, while Paul Manuel's (Enjolras) West End credits include West Side Story, Grease and The Hot Mikado. Amongst Rosemary Ashe's (Madame Thenardier) previous West End shows are The Phantom of the Opera, The Boy Friend, Forbidden Broadway, Oliver! and, most recently, Cameron Mackintosh's The Witches of Eastwick.

Michael Sterling, who stars as Jean Valjean, is already a Les Miserables alumnus, having previously appeared as Enjolras in the London production and Marius in the Manchester production, while Sophia Ragavelas is an existing cast member who has now been promoted to the part of Eponine. Both Hadley Fraser (Marius) and Helen French (Cosette) will be making their West End debuts.

Les Miserables continues to star Carmine Cusack (Fantine) and Stephen Tate (Thenardier). Hans Peter Janssens and Michael McCarthy will return, as Jean Valjean and Javert respectively, on 2 December 2002.

The musical has made its home at the West End's Palace Theatre since 1985. Worldwide to date, over 47 million people have seen the musical in more than 33 countries and in 20 languages.

Originally adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the musical is written by Alain Boublil and Claude Michel Schonberg, based on Victor Hugo's original novel. It is currently booking into early 2003.

- by Sarah Beaumont