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Les Miserables confirms move to Queen's Theatre



Story by Jack Foley

AFTER 18 years and over 7,500 performances, the West End musical Les Miserables will play its final performance at The Palace Theatre on March 27, 2004.

It will then storm down Shaftesbury Avenue to The Queen’s Theatre and re-open in early April.

The move has been necessitated by Really Useful Theatres need to make essential renovations to the Palace Theatre which, because of Les Mis’s extraordinary run, have long been deferred.

Producer and theatre owner, Cameron Mackintosh, who owns the Queen’s, was due to take back the theatre at the expiry of R.U.T.’s lease in 2006.

He then plans to start the redevelopment of the whole Shaftesbury Avenue site, which includes the Queen’s and Gielgud theatres and the creation of the new Sondheim Theatre.

Seen by over 50 million people worldwide, in 38 countries and in 21 languages, Les Miserables is one of the world’s most popular musicals.

There have been 31 cast recordings, including the multi-platinum London cast recording and the Grammy Award-winning Broadway cast and complete symphonic albums.

The entire cast of the production will move with it and the original design from the Palace Theatre will be rethought for the Queen’s Theatre.

Les Miserables currently stars Jeff Leyton, as Jean Valjean; Michael McCarthy, as Javert; Stephen Tate, as Monsieur Thénardier; Jon Lee, as Marius; Katy Secombe, as Madame Thénardier; Joanna Ampil, as Fantine; Lydia Griffiths, as Cosette; Oliver Thornton, as Enjolras, and Sophia Ragavelas, as Eponine.

The Cameron Mackintosh/Royal Shakespeare Company production, by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, is based on the novel by Victor Hugo, has lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, with original text by Alain Boublil and additional material by James Fenton.

It is adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.

Performance times for the London production at The Palace Theatre are Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Ticket prices range from £10 - £42.50 and are available from the Palace Theatre Box Office on 020 7494 5555.

Les Miserables is now booking through 2005.

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