Published in artshub:
Winner of multiple Tony Awards, Drama Desk and Laurence Olivier Awards – not to mention three Oscars, three Golden Globes and four BAFTA awards – the musical Les Misérables is renowned for its inspiring storyline and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s astonishing musical composition.
Now a reworked production of the acclaimed production – based on Victor Hugo’s 19th century novel about the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean as he aspires for redemption – returns to Australia in 2014, presented by impresario Cameron Mackintosh with the support of Victoria’s Major Events Company.
‘Twenty-five years ago I set out to find Australia’s stars of the future for my first Australian production of Les Misérables. I’m thrilled today to announce an amazing cast of performers that I’m hoping will also become household names in the future,’ Mackintosh said at Monday’s media launch.
Simon Gleeson is the main protagonist, Jean Valjean.
Established actor Simon Gleeson leads the charge, playing the coveted role of Jean Valjean. Having worked extensively in film, television and theatre productions such asLove Never Dies and Chess, Gleeson believes that Les Misérables is a testament to the difficult choices everyone must make in their lives and the consequences that follow thereafter.
‘Les Misérables transformed musical theatre when it first opened. The show remains iconic and relevant today because it deals with themes of love, courage, the human spirit and the difficult choices we make which define who we are and what we stand for,’ he said.
NIDA graduate Hayden Tee will take on the role of Javert, Valjean’s lifelong antagonist and enemy. Having played the role of Marius in the 2005 West End production of Les Misérables in the past, Tee has also played star roles in musicals Being Earnest and My Fair Lady.
Emily Landgridge will be play the much sought after role of Cossette, describing it as her ‘dream role’. Making her professional debut this year, the young actress grabbed the attention of the producers with her roles in Gypsy and The Pirates of Penzance.
Cossette’s mother, Fantine, will be played by Patrice Tipoki. Other roles announced at the media call include wicked inn keeper Madame Thenardier, played by Lara Mulcahy, and the headstrong Epinone, to be played by Kerrie Anne Greenland. Acclaimed actor Chris Durling will take on the role of Enjolras, the passionate student leader of the Paris revolution.
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said that Les Misérables will become a major drawcard for tourists, and anticipates that the musical will provide a welcome boost to Victoria’s economy.
‘Sir Cameron Mackintosh has been a great friend to Victoria. Major theatre productions like Les Misérables generate significant economic benefits, attracting thousands of visitors from interstate and overseas,’ he said.
To coincide with the production, the State Library of Victoria will host Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage, a world-first exhibition charting the beginnings of Les Misérables at the pen of Victor Hugo through to the modern day hit musical – and also illuminating why it resonates so strongly with audiences around the world.
‘This is the first time fans will get to see original Les Misérables scripts, scores, costume, set designs, posters, photographs and films, taking them backstage and into the heart of this extraordinary production,’ said State Librarian and CEO, Sue Roberts.
Les Misérables is the world’s longest running musical and has been seen by over 65 million people worldwide, and translated in 22 different languages, since its original, short-lived season in Paris in 1980.
The new production will premiere in Melbourne on 3 July 2014. Tickets go on sale to the general public on 17 October through Ticketek.