LES MISERABLES Fans Unite Against Changes to Original Staging
As BroadwayWorld reported earlier this month, the Queen's Theatre in London, the only place to see Les Miserables with its original staging will undergo renovations and when the show returns from hiatus it will be revised to the most recent production which has toured extensively and played Broadway. When the show reopens, after a brief hiatus, it will have new staging, new orchestrations, and a new cast.
Fans of the show, including original London and Broadway cast member Frances Ruffelle (Eponine) have been vocal about their disapproval of the announcement. "Les Miserables was successful not just because of Hugo's amazing story & gorgeous score... but mainly because of the incredible direction by John Caird & Trevor Nunn Their staging on the revolve was staggeringly beautiful it took my breath away every time... nothing else compares." she wrote.
Since then, a growing number of fans (2.7K as of January 21, 2019) have signed a petition to save the original staging, begging Cameron Mackintosh: "By all means keep the 'reimagined' one for tours but don't replace the original!"
Fans have also taken to Facebook to voice their opinions about the changes:
The Original London production at the Queen's Theatre will play until 13 July 2019. The theatre will then close for four months of rebuilding work both backstage and in the auditorium as well as adding many much-needed new lavatories to the front of house. This work will restore architect W.G. Sprague's original boxes and loges which, along with the entire front of house, were destroyed by a bomb in 1940 and caused the theatre to be closed for 20 years.
The restored Queen's Theatre will reopen in December of 2019 with the New production of Les Miserables, continuing its phenomenal run indefinitely. A new company is now being put together and bookings will open in February.
While the Queen's Theatre is being restored, Les Miserables will continue in performance on Shaftesbury Avenue with exciting plans being announced shortly for a four-month season at the Gielgud Theatre from the end of July 2019.
The acclaimed New production was created for the show's 25th Anniversary in the UK in 2009 and has gone on to enjoy huge success around the world all over again, including returning to Broadway. The New touring production which has just opened to rave reviews in Dublin has already taken a record-breaking advance of over £30 million with most dates sold out until January 2020, including Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Plymouth. There are just a few seats remaining in Milton Keynes, Bradford, Newcastle and Liverpool.
In America, the current tour of the New production, which is playing major cities across the US and Canada until 2021, continues to play to 95% attendance and has grossed over $250million at the box office to date.