BREAKING NEWS: Samantha Barks To Play Eponine In LES MISERABLES Movie

By: Jan. 31, 2012
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Samantha Barks is set to play Eponine in the film version of Les Miserables - the role she played at the 25th anniversary concert.

Cameron Mackintosh announced it live on stage at the Manchester Palace at the end of this evening's performance of Oliver!, in which Barks is currently playing Nancy.

He told the cast and audience that he had a big announcement to make before flying to America, and then revealed that Barks would be taking the role of Eponine.

It seems to have come as a surprise to Barks - audience members reported that "the look on her face was priceless".

She tweeted soon after the curtain call: "Most incredible moment of my life!!!! X"

Fellow cast member Jack Edwards, who plays Mr Bumble, called it "amazing". Matt Harrop, in the ensemble, added: "so happy for my nancy babes. Amazing and incredible news. So worthy! Mx", with Kade Ferraiolo saying: "Congratulations to the amazing  I'll never forget what just happened on stage:-)"

Barks's former castmate Lucie Jones, who played Cosette in the West End, tweeted: "I've never been so proud I'm literally BURSTING!!! TEARS and everything!!!"

Lea Salonga, who played Fantine alongside Barks in the 25th anniversary concert and previously played Eponine, said: "It's official:  will be Eponine in the Les Miz movie!!! Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!! Thank you, casting gods!!!"

Frances Ruffelle, who created the role, tweeted to Barks: "So proud of you!! Well done my darling girl xxxx"

Taylor Swift had originally been linked with the part.

One audience member tweeted: "Best night ever just knowing I was there when Samantha got told. She really was the best Eponine!"

Samantha Barks trained at the Arts Educational school for a year before entering “I’d Do Anything”, the BBC search for the new ‘Nancy’ in Cameron Mackintosh’s “Oliver!” where she finished in the top three. Following “I’d Do Anything” she took part in the workshop for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies”. Samantha made her stage debut as ‘Sally Bowles’ in the national tour of “Cabaret”, before taking the classic role of ‘Aladdin’ in “Aladdin” at the Theatre Royal Windsor. Last year Samantha made her West End debut in the role of ‘Eponine’ in “Les Misérables”, and played the role again in the “Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert” at The O2. Television credits include the lead role of ‘Zoe’ in the Disney TV series “Groove High”.

Les Miserables 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. 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 its historic 10,000th performance.

The film, under the direction of Tom Hooper, intends to feature all of its stars singing live on film. Barks joins the previously reported Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert, Sacha Baron Cohen as Thenardier, Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Aaron Tveit as Enjolras, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thenardier.

LES MISÉRABLES is slated for a December 7, 2012 release.