It’s one of the largest touring productions ever
Image credit: Danny Kaan
Les Misérables may be a tried-and-true classic – it’s the longest-running musical ever in the West End, after all – but it’s the new staging of this touring show that’s got us hot under our 19th-century starched collar.
Cameron Mackintosh’s adaptation is one of the largest productions ever to go on tour, with a cast of 33, an orchestra of 14 and a technical team of 32, who bring the show to life a whopping eight times a week. Talk about coming back to theatre with a bang! Expect all your favourite musical numbers (we’ve got our tissues ready for I Dreamed a Dream), set against a backdrop inspired by Victor Hugo’s own paintings.
The leads are both massive Les Mis nerds
Nic Greenshields. Photo credit: Danny Kaan
We can’t wait to hear from Will Callan as Marius, Paige Blankson as Cosette and Katie Hall as Fantine (fun fact – she appeared in Tom Hooper’s 2012 film version of Les Mis), but it’s arguably the roles of Javert and Jean Valjean that are the show’s most iconic.
Dean Chisnall as Valjean and Nic Greenshields as Javert have both been fans of the show since they were kids, with Nic first hearing the musical on cassette tape (remember those?) at the age of 11. “I remember listening to it and trying to imagine what the show would be like,” he says. “Eventually I begged my Mum to take me, and we queued for returns. I was just blown away. The show really resonated with me, and I thought, ‘I want to be part of this. This is what I want to do.’”
Dean Chisnall. Photo credit: Danny Kaan
Meanwhile, Dean first saw the show aged 18 after buying a ticket on a whim, and instantly fell in love. “I’ve now played over 500 performances as Jean Valjean, and it still feels as magical as it did the first time I stepped on the stage,” he says.
The costumes are phenomenal
Thought you had trouble deciding what to wear in the morning? Spare a thought for the costume department of Les Mis, who have over 2,000 pieces of clothing, accessories, shoes and hats to juggle as part of the show. Each of the ensemble cast has up to 10 costume changes per performance, and Katie Hall as Fantine boasts the speediest change at a breakneck 15 seconds.
It’s all worth it though, as the costumes on this production are second-to-none. There are 103 wigs, ballgowns made with real dyed ostrich feathers, and braided waistcoats that are embellished by the same team who creates stage costumes for Queen.
The location is perfect for dinner and a show
No need to travel to the West End – MK Theatre is perfectly placed in the centre of Milton Keynes, so you have plenty of dinner and cocktails options within a stone’s throw, whether you choose an evening or a matinee showing. We recommend popping in to the Midsummer Tap to sample the new menu and craft beers, or Blossom Room at The Hub for two-for-one cocktails and Asian-inspired eats.
Les Misérables is showing at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tues 26 Apr to Sat 21 May. Buy your tickets here.
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