It is, however, being seen not in the original production that was directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird for the RSC and originally designed by John Napier, but in a new staging that is being co-directed by James Powell and Laurence Connor, with new scenic and image design by Matt Kinley.
Powell is a previous long-time resident and associate director of the original production at the Palace Theatre and is currently represented in the West End by his production of Dirty Dancing. Connor, a former actor who appeared in Les Miserables, has been assocoiate director of The Phantom of the Opera and Oliver! in the West End and has directed a new version of the Boublil/Schonberg musical Miss Siagon that has toured the UK and visited Korea and Australia. Kinley has worked extensively at the National Theatre as design associate and draughtsman on over 40 productions, including Jerry Springer: the Opera, The Coast of Utopia and My Fair Lady. He has also been an associate designer to John Napier on Les Miserables (Broadway and Holland) and Equus in the West End.
The company is led by John Owen-Jones and Earl Carpenter as Valjean and Javert, respectively. Owen-Jones has previously played Valjean in the West End at both the Palace and Queen's Theatre, and in the 2007 Broadway revival at the Broadhurst Theatre. He was voted Best Valjean Ever and Best Les Misérables Performer Ever in an online worldwide poll of fans of the show. He first played the role at the age of 26, making him the youngest actor in the world to ever play the role. He has also played the title role in The Phantom of the Opera in the West End, becoming the longest-running Phantom in the show’s West End history with over 1,400 performances in four years.
Carpenter made his West End debut in Les Miserables in 1996, and has regularly returned to the show since. He has also co-produced five concert presentations with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; sang at the closing ceremony for Euro 96; been involved with the first outdoor concert presentation at Chelmsford Park, and performed at a very special performance in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle to celebrate the Entente Cordiale, in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen. Other West End roles include the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, Beast and Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and Darryl van Horne in The Witches of Eastwick.
Other leading roles are played by Madelena Alberto (Fantine), Ashley Artus (Thénardier), Lynne Wilmot (Madame Thénardier), Rosalind James (Eponine), Katie Hall (Cosette), Jon Robyns (Enjolras) and Gareth Gates (Marius). The original production of Les Miserables also continues to run at the West End's Queen's Theatre. There will also be a gala concert version at London's 02 Arena on Oct. 3. To book tickets for the Barbican season, contact the box office on 0844 848 4490, or visit www.lesmis.com for more details.