Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical, Les Misérables, premiered in Melbourne on June 22nd 2014 and celebrated its final bow on 17th January 2016 in Brisbane. The award-winning Australian production celebrated an extraordinary 19 month run with triumphant seasons in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane and closed after 588 performances.
The Australian season saw the production win numerous awards including a Green Room Award, Theatrepeople’s People Choice Award, Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph Party of the Year and was nominated for four Sydney Theatre Awards. In 2015 the production also scooped the pool at the Helpmann Awards winning in five categories including Best Musical, Best Male Actor in a Musical, Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.
The Australian critics were unanimous in their praise for the power and spectacle of Les Misérables, the amazing quality of the production and its outstanding cast.
Five stars … a musical and theatrical triumph … Les Mis is master of the house once more’
Herald Sun, Melbourne
‘A dynamic, enthralling experience … this new production will elevate emotions in ways previously unknown’
The Age, Melbourne
‘Everything you could want – vocal splendour and emotional power, dynamic staging and a propulsive dramatic vision … will hold a new generation of fans in thrall’
Daily Telegraph, Sydney
‘A defining moment in Australian music theatre.’
‘An ensemble of star quality’
“I am extremely proud of this production and all it has achieved in its 19 month run in Australia, working with a new generation of Australian talent. It continues to be a thrill for me to see my productions enjoyed the world over delighting audiences and proving big hits at the box office. Les Misérables is a truly unique show and I am so grateful that it still provides me and audiences alike with the same enjoyment and fulfilment as it did 30 years ago when I debuted it on the West End.” said Cameron Mackintosh.
“In past Australian productions of Les Mis I was privileged to introduce to the world talented performers such as Marina Prior and Anthony Warlow who have gone on to have phenomenal careers all over the world.
In 2014, I brought together this talented cast revealing a new generation of major Australian talents including Simon Gleeson, Hayden Tee and Patrice Tipoki among others, making it a truly satisfying experience. Together with the wonderful crew, orchestra and production team, led by Michael Cassel in what I’m hoping will be the first of many productions we work on together, this Australian company was a joy to work with.” he continued.
Hailed by The Australian as ‘an ensemble of star quality’, the cast earned heartfelt adoration for their spine tingling and flawless performances every night.
Simon Gleeson, who won a Helpmann Award for his heartrending portrayal as Jean Valjean, led this wonderful cast on and off stage with his dignified poise, leadership and humility proving that in addition to his incredible talent he is one of Australia’s true leading men. Outside of the Les Mis stage the cast also enjoyed further performance highlights including a stellar performance at Melbourne’s Carols by Candlelight, many charity and special event performances such as the Swisse Ball, AFL Grand Final and Melbourne Cup, superb early morning performances on breakfast and morning television programmes including the Today Show and Sunrise, and many major event National Anthem performances. Simon himself earnt the honour of performing the national anthem at Cricket Australia’s Australia Day ODI, the NRL Grand Final and the Australian Open Men’s Final. The cast themselves also produced and performed in Beyond Misérables, a one night only charity event that saw them raise $94,000 for Beyond Blue. Simon will lead the Asian Tour of this production in Manilla and Singapore from March 2016.
Hayden Tee firmly staked his claim on Valjean’s lifelong antagonist Javert, with Time Out citing his rendition of “Stars” as ‘a show highlight’ as well as earning him a Theatre People Pro Choice Award for ‘Best Individual Performance’. NIDA-trained Hayden has appeared in many musical theatre and opera productions around the world, including Being Earnest, My Fair Lady and in 2005 he played Marius in the 20th anniversary West End production of LES MISÉRABLES. Hayden Tee will take his incredible portrayal of Javert to New York where he will assume the role in the Broadway production from February 2016.
Patrice Tipoki starred as Fantine, with her rendition of the show’s much loved “I Dreamed A Dream” described as ‘one of unwavering emotion’. Known to Australian audiences from lead roles in The Lion King and Wicked, Patrice’s angelic portrayal of Fantine was a role she was born to play. Patrice Tipoki is heading to London to star as Fantine in the West End production from February 2016, which recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary, until May when she will then join the production in Singapore.
Lara Mulcahy proved a triumph as the hilariously grotesque Madame Thénardier. Lara is known for countless stage, TV and film productions, including the Baz Luhrmann films, Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby and her award-winning performance in Mamma Mia! Playing Lara’s villainous other half Monsieur Thénardier was Australian theatre and cabaret favourite, Trevor Ashley. Trevor appeared in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical, Hairspray: The Musical and Jerry Springer: The Opera as well as having an extensive career co-writing and starring in his own stage productions. Lara and Trevor made an almighty impact as the Thénardiers, with “Master of the House” delivering the thrill audiences came to expect from this showstopper.
WAAPA graduate Kerrie Anne Greenland played Eponine, soaring in her song “On my Own”, in this her first professional role. With a voice so sublime, Kerrie Anne has been hailed a ‘superstar in the making’, earning a Helpmann Award for her performance as Eponine. Fellow WAAPA graduate Emily Langridge played the beloved Cosette with an endearing sweetness and innocence. Emily had previously been seen in The Production Company’s Gypsy and Pirates of Penzance.
Chris Durling commanded the stage in the pivotal role of Enjolras, the passionate student leader of the revolution. Chris has performed in the Australian and New Zealand productions of Jersey Boys and Grease, as well other productions including Fame, High School Musical, Damn Yankees and My Fair Lady. The love-struck revolutionary Marius was Helpmann Award-nominated performer Euan Doidge, described as ‘bringing a gentle naivety to the boys of the barricade’. At just 21 years old, Euan had already performed in major musicals including Legally Blonde, A Chorus Line and Grease.
Twenty-four of Australia’s finest talents joined the LES MISÉRABLES ensemble, with the child roles of Little Cosette, Young Eponine, and Gavroche being shared by talented children making their professional debut in this spectacular production.
Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Les Misérables is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. Its magnificent score includes the classic 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. One of the world’s greatest musicals, this new production of the much-loved blockbuster featured glorious modernised staging, orchestrations and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.