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Matt Lucas to return to Les Misérables in the West End following cast illness

The Little Britain star will step in after Gerard Carey was put on vocal rest

Matt Lucas in Les Misérables
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Matt Lucas will return to Les Misérables in the West End, it has been announced today.

Lucas will reprise his role as Thénardier on Monday 23 December, stepping in for Gerard Carey who was originally cast. The musical reopened at the newly refurbished Sondheim Theatre (previously the Queen's Theatre) on Wednesday 18 December. But Carey was told not to perform and to rest his vocal chords – avoiding long-term damage to his voice – after seeking medical advice this week. Carey is expected to return on 3 February. Lucas previously played Thénardier at the Queen's Theatre, as well as in the show's 25th-anniversary concert at the O2 Arena.

Cameron Mackintosh commented: "Just as I was thanking the gods of the theatre for getting the spectacularly rebuilt Sondheim Theatre open on schedule with our brilliant new cast and production, we heard that our irrepressible Thénardier, Gerard Carey, would not be allowed to perform for several weeks due to a serious problem with his vocal chords. Though obviously a disappointment for him and all of us, I'm thrilled to announce that Matt Lucas has volunteered to abandon his Christmas plans and rejoin Les Mis as Master of the House after his recent triumph in the Staged Concert at the Gielgud Theatre. He will play alongside Josefina Gabrielle as Madame Thénardier while Gerard recovers and returns to the company in February."

The remaining cast of Les Misérables stars Jon Robyns as Jean Valjean, Bradley Jaden as Javert, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Fantine, Shan Ako as Eponine, Gabrielle as Madame Thénardier, Harry Apps as Marius, Ashley Gilmour as Enjolras and Lily Kerhoas as Cosette. Rachelle Ann Go will return to the role of Fantine for seven weeks in the spring and will take over the role fully from Fletcher in the summer.

They are joined by Kelly Agbowu, Ciarán Bowling, Richard Carson, Rodney Earl Clarke, Matthew Dale, Matt Dempsey, Harry Dunnett, Jessie Hart, Jessica Joslin, Sarah Lark, Georgie Lovatt, Ellie Ann Lowe, Luke McCall, Leo Miles, Claire O'Leary, Shane O'Riordan, Kathy Peacock, Sam Peggs, Mark Pearce, Emma Warren, Sake Wijers, Mared Williams and Samuel Wyn-Morris.

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