October 29, 2011
We would love to know how Hal Prince feels about Cameron Mackintosh’s new touring production of The Phantom of the Opera, celebrating the show’s 25th anniversary.
If you cast your mind back to 2010, Mackintosh suffered a very public falling-out with Trevor Nunn over the “re-imagining” of the 25th anniversary touring production of Les Miserables. Nunn, co-director John Caird and designer John Napier were said to be furious that new directors, Laurence Connor and James Powell, and designer Matt Kinleywere, hired to give the show a touring makeover, including ditching the revolving barricades as these were too costly and complex to tour. Presumably the same will happen to the falling chandelier in Phantom.
As with the Les Mis tour, Mackintosh has recruited director Laurence Connor to stage the new version of Phantom and has even cast his Les Mis touring leads, John Owen-Jones and Earl Carpenter, to share the role of the Phantom.
Mackintosh has been careful to suggest in the press that the tour has Prince’s blessing, with Variety in March revealing than an “agreement” had been struck with Prince for the all-new version. But a September interview with Prince in the Huffington Post asked him whether he would change anything about the show if he had the chance to revisit it. “No, I would leave it alone”, he said, “it works”.
The UK touring production, directed by Laurence Connor, will feature choreography by Scott Ambler, set design by Paul Brown and costume design by original designer Maria Björnson. The production will be overseen by Cameron Mackintosh and Matthew Bourne and will premiere at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in March 2012. In addition to John Owen-Jones and Earl Carpenter sharing the Phantom role, Katie Hall will play Christine.
October 4, 2010
A spectacular concert performance of Les Miserables was held at the O2 Arena in London last night, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the musical.
A number of cast members from the original 1985 production of the show, including Colm Wilkinson and Michael Ball, came together with the casts of the current West End production at the Queen’s Theatre in London and the UK touring production to celebrate the record-breaking musical.
The producer of Les Miserables, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who has become a multi-millionaire through the 42 worldwide productions of the show, said that the event had been one of the “most astonishing” nights of his life. “Seeing everybody love this material so much and love their fellow performers is something I have never encountered in the theatre and I never will for the rest of my life”, he said.
A chorus of over 150 singers joined a number of internationally renowned performers at the event including Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Nick Jonas as Marius, Norm Lewis as Javert, Matt Lucas as Thénardier, Lea Salonga as Fantine, Jenny Galloway as Madame Thénardier, Ramin Karimloo as Enjolras, Samantha Barks as Eponine and Katie Hall as Cosette.
Students who have performed school productions of the show also took to the stage for the finale. At the event Mackintosh also revealed that work had begun on a screenplay of the musical, to be made into a major film.
Les Miserables is the world’s longest running musical and has been seen by over 55 million people worldwide.
October 1, 2010
Last few tickets remain for major Les Miserables concert at the 02 this Sunday; Katie Hall to replace Camilla Kerslake as Cosette; concert to be shown live in cinemas around the world
An epic concert will be staged this Sunday, 3 October 2010, by impresario Cameron Mackintosh to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Les Miserables.
In association with Universal Pictures, the extraordinary staged concert will feature over 500 actors and musicians, with star performances from a host of internationally renowned performers including Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Nick Jonas as Marius, Norm Lewis as Javert, Matt Lucas as Thénardier, Lea Salonga as Fantine, Jenny Galloway as Madame Thénardier, Ramin Karimloo as Enjolras and Samantha Barks as Eponine.
The part of Cosette, which was originally to have been played by Camilla Kerslake, will now be played by former I’d Do Anything contestant Katie Hall. She is currently performing in the 25th anniversary UK tour of the show, now playing at the Barbican Theatre, alongside Gareth Gates and John Owen Jones. The cast of this production, plus the London cast at the Queen’s Theatre, will all perform on stage at the O2.
Les Miserables has made theatrical history with three different productions running in London: the original production at the Queen’s Theatre, the new 25th anniversary UK tour at the Barbican, and the concert at the O2. The show overtook Cats in 2006 as the World’s Longest Running Musical and celebrated its 10,000th performance in January this year.
Les Mis Concert In Cinemas
The Les Mis concert will also hit cinemas as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations. The show at the O2 Arena will be transmitted live via satellite on 3 October to more than 175 cinemas across the UK – and in Australia, Germany, Ireland and Norway. See a list of cinemas showing the Les Miserables concert here.
Heading The O2 Concert cast is Alfie Boe, one of the country’s leading tenors and best selling recording artists. Alfie shot to fame while starring in Baz Luhrmann’s “La Boheme” on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for his performance. His other credits include a nomination for a Classical Brit Award for his album “Onward” and a sell-out production of “The Merry Widow” at the London Coliseum. His future opera engagements will see Alfie return to the English National Opera to sing ‘Nadir’ in a new production of “The Pearl Fishers” and also his return to the Royal Opera House in Gounod’s”Roméo et Juliette”.
Matt Lucas is one of Britain’s most successful comic actors and writers. His TV credits include the multi award-winning “Little Britain”, “Shooting Stars”, BBC’s “Wind in the Willows” and most recently Tim Burton’s film of “Alice in Wonderland”. Jenny Galloway is regarded as a legendary ‘Madame Thénardier’, and has played the part many times, including the 10th Anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall. She has also created the roles of ‘Rosie’ in “Mamma Mia!” for which she won an Olivier Award, and ‘Mrs Brill’ in “Mary Poppins” both in the West End and on Broadway.
Lea Salonga will fly in from Manilla to play ‘Fantine’. No stranger to “Les Miz”, Lea has played ‘Eponine’ in London and ‘Fantine’ on Broadway. She became an international star by creating the role of ‘Kim’ in the original production of “Miss Saigon” at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and subsequently on Broadway. Lea won a multitude of awards for this role, including the Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Theatre World Awards. Lea will join her former “Les Miz” co-star Norm Lewis, who has just received rave reviews for “Sondheim on Sondheim” at Studio 54 in New York. Norm played ‘Javert’ in the Broadway production of “Les Misérables” and his other Broadway credits include ‘John’ in “Miss Saigon” and ‘King Triton’ in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”.
Nick Jonas is one third of the phenomenally successful pop music artists, the Jonas Brothers. Worldwide they have sold over 8 million albums, played to millions of fans on three continents, earned dozens of international awards and have garnered 36 gold and platinum album certificates. No stranger to “Les Miz”, Nick played the part of ‘Gavroche’ for the final nine months of the show’s original Broadway run. Camilla Kerslake is an English classical crossover singer who became the first signing to Gary Barlow’s new record label. Her debut album shot to number 4 in the Classical Album Charts and has been nominated for a Classical Brit Award. Camilla also sings the Christian hymn, “How Can I Keep from Singing?” in the 2009 Waitrose supermarket Christmas advert. Nick will also appear in the London production of Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre for three weeks only from 21 June 2010. Book tickets now.
The O2 Concert will also feature the casts of the original London production (still playing to packed houses at the Queen’s Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue), the cast of the acclaimed New 25th Anniversary Production and members of the original 1985 cast. The new production, which is breaking box office records all over the UK and opening in countries all over the world has played a short run at the Barbican, London where the show originally premiered.
The magnificent score of “LES MISÉRABLES” includes the songs, ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, ‘On My Own’, ‘Stars’, ‘Bring Him Home’, ‘Do You Hear the People Sing?’, ‘One Day More’, ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables’, ‘Master Of The House’ and many more.
“LES MISÉRABLES” originally opened in London at the Barbican Theatre on 8 October 1985, transferred to the Palace Theatre on 4 December 1985 and moved to its current home at the Queen’s Theatre on 3 April 2004 where it continues to play to packed houses. When “LES MISÉRABLES” celebrated its 21st London birthday on 8 October 2006, it became the World’s Longest Running Musical, surpassing the record previously held by “Cats” in London’s West End. In January 2010, the West End production broke another record by celebrating an historic 10,000th performances.
Seen by over 56 million people worldwide in 42 countries and in 21 languages, “LES MISÉRABLES” is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals ever written, with new productions continually opening around the globe, with seven more currently scheduled. There have been 36 cast recordings of “LES MISÉRABLES”, including the multi-platinum London cast recording, the Grammy Award-winning Broadway cast and complete symphonic albums and the soon to be released live recording of the New 25th Anniversary production. The video of the 10th Anniversary Royal Albert Hall Gala Concert has sold millions of copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling musical videos ever in the UK. There are over 2,500 productions of the Les Misérables School’s Edition scheduled or being performed by over 125,000 school children in the UK, US and Australia, making it the most successful musical ever produced in schools. Cameron Mackintosh is currently developing a film of “LES MISÉRABLES” with Working Title and Universal.
Cameron Mackintosh’s production of “LES MISÉRABLES” is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel and additional material by James Fenton. The original London 1985 production of “LES MISÉRABLES” was adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.
The New 25th Anniversary production and the O2 Concert are directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell and designed by Matt Kinley. Original costumes by Andreane Neofitou, additional costumes by Christine Rowland, lighting by Patrick Woodroffe and Paule Constable and sound by Mick Potter.