Les Miserables back in Singapore after 20 years

A scene from the new production of Les Miserables.
A scene from the new production of Les Miserables.PHOTO: MATTHEW MURPHY

It will be time to hear the people sing again in May next year, as the popular musical Les Miserables returns to Singapore.

A new production of the classic, now touring Australia, will play at the Esplanade Theatre from May 29 to June 26. Tickets go on sale at Sistic from Nov 2.

British producer Cameron Mackintosh created this new show five years ago to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the musical. He first produced the musical in London. The show here is presented by Media- Corp VizPro International.

  • BOOK IT / CAMERON MACKINTOSH'S LES MISERABLES

  • WHERE: Esplanade Theatre

    WHEN: May 29 to June 26. Tuesday to Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 and 8pm; Sunday 1.30 and 7pm

    ADMISSION: $58 to $228 (Ticket sales start on Nov 2. Go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)

It boasts a new stage set, re-orchestrated score and re-imagined scenery based on the paintings of French writer Victor Hugo, whose epic novel it is based on.

The musical is set against the backdrop of 19th-century revolutionary France, following the journey of ex-convict Jean Valjean and the people in his life, including his nemesis, policeman Javert.

"Next year will mark 20 years since Les Miserables was last in Singapore," said Mackintosh in a press release. The production here features a predominantly Australian cast, with the exception of British actor Earl Carpenter, who continues his Broadway role as the villain Javert.

Landing the coveted role of Val- jean is Simon Gleeson, fresh from his Best Actor win at this year's Helpmann Awards, Australia's version of the Tonys. Les Miserables won Best Musical at the same event.

The Sydney Morning Herald praised the energy of the slick new production, which it says is "calculated to appeal to a new generation of Les Mis fans" with the use of computer animation, a bass-heavy sound design and speedier pacing.

The Guardian called the Sydney show "absolutely amazing", being "both grand and accessible".

The musical was first staged by French songwriter Alain Boublil and composer Claude-Michel Schonberg in 1980. It has been seen by an audience of over 70 million worldwide in 42 countries, collecting over 125 major awards internationally.

Les Miserables fan Isman Tanuri, who works as a senior marketing manager, thinks this reboot is great for fans.

"Older fans can revisit past experiences. Newer ones get to find out how it all started before the Hugh Jackman film came out," says the 37-year-old, referring to the Tom Hooper-directed film from 2012, in which Jackman played Valjean.

He says: "I'm looking forward to all the theatrical magic Les Miserables can offer."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2015, with the headline 'Les Miserables back in Singapore after 20 years'. Print Edition | Subscribe