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Les Mis at O2 Broadcast to Cinemas, NT Expands

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Following the success of NT Live, the National's initiative to beam performances live from the National and other subsidised theatres to cinemas around the world, commercial theatre is getting in on big screen treatment, starting with this Sunday’s 25th anniversary concert performance of Les Miserables, which will be filmed and broadcast from The O2 Arena this Sunday 3 October 2010.

The live concert performance - which will see a 300-strong cast including stars Alfie Boe (Jean Valjean), Nick Jonas (Marius), Norm Lewis (Javert) and Matt Lucas (Thénardier) take on Boublil and Schönberg's revolutionary musical - joins the Barbican's just-opened homecoming production and the long-running West End production at the Queen's Theatre as the final part of impresario Cameron Mackintosh's anniversary celebrations for the musical. The concert performance brings together members of all three productions and many of the show’s original 1985 cast.

The broadcast of the performance, which will be streamed live by satellite around the world followed by a rebroadcast on Monday 4 October to cinemas in different time zones, is produced by cineStage, an arm of 3D and alternative cinema producers Omniverse Vision. The screenings will be shown in over 160 cinemas in the UK, including the Vue chain, and ultimately at over 1,100 screens around the world including Australia and Japan.

Speaking to the BBC about the show, Grant Calton of Omniverse Vision said: "Fans who may not be able to see such events live can now take a great seat in the house and enjoy the spectacle on the big screen with full surround sound."

NT Live's second season of broadcasts was recently announced, backed by a three-year sponsorship deal with insurance firm Aviva. The National itself plans to embrace the commercial sector. It has already expanded beyond the National alone, including the Donmar Warehouse and Complicite productions in its second season. A spokesperson told Whatsonstage.com that the National is in talks with other producers but that the earliest West End productions would be considered for broadcast would be September 2011, as part of NT Live's third season.


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