The world’s longest running musical is to return to Birmingham next year when Les Miserables takes to the stage at the Hippodrome.
The show, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010, will play the Hurst Street theatre for three weeks in the spring.
And the cast will feature West End and Broadway performer John Owen-Jones as Jean Valjean, Earl Carpenter as Javert and Gareth Gates as Marius.
Produced by Cameron Mackintosh, the musical will have new designs inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, writer of the novel Les Miserables on which the best-selling show is based.
Les Mis, as it is affectionately known, originally opened at London’s Barbican Theatre in October 1985, transferred to the Palace Theatre two months later and moved to its current home at the Queen’s Theatre in 2004.
It has continued to play to packed houses throughout its history and three years ago it became the world’s longest-running musical, overtaking the record previously set by Cats in London’s West End.
It tells the story of former convict Jean Valjean whose attempts to build a new life are constantly under threat from over zealous police officer Javert. It is set against the battle of Waterloo and the anti-monarchist Paris Uprising of 1832.
Written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, Les Mis has been seen by more than 56 million people in more than 40 countries and has been translated into 21 languages.
Its famous score includes songs I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Bring Him Home, Stars, Master of the House and Do You Hear the People Sing?
And it will be a much anticipated tour.
Cameron Mackintosh said: “Les Miserables was last seen at Birmingham Hippodrome in 1997 as part of its first UK tour, enjoying a triumphant run. I am now delighted to be bringing this new production back to the city as part of its 25th anniversary.”
* Les Miserables at Birmingham Hippodrome March 23-April 17. Friends priority booking opens on Monday, group bookings from July 23, online booking (www.birminghamhippodrome.com) on July 27, and general booking (0844 338 5000) and box office on August 3.