VIDEO: The Original Production of LES MISÉRABLES Says Au Revoir To The West End
The original staging of the beloved musical Les Miserables played its final performance this weekend at the Queen's Theatre in London. Following the performance, the show's current Jean Valjean, Dean Chisnall addressed the crowd to celebrate the impact and legacy of this groundbreaking production. See his moving speech below!
Les Miserables is continuing to break records all over the world, with new productions springing up across the US, UK, and beyond. The Queen's Theatre was the only place to catch the show with its original staging. When the show reopens, after a brief hiatus, it will have new staging, new orchestrations, and a new cast.
The production at the Queen's Theatre will 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.
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.
Les Miserables and The Lion King are the most financially successful productions in the history of the West End. Last year this production distributed a further 280% return of profit, giving the original investors a total return of over 3500% on their original investment - an unprecedented feat for any musical in its fourth decade.
Les Miserables has been performed in 52 countries and 22 languages and won over 100 international awards. The combined audience for the show and the Academy Award winning film is 120 million people. The film is one of the 10 biggest movie musical box office successes of all time.
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.