Les Misérables the musical in Dubai? It’s happening…
So we had an inkling that a musical was going to join the Dubai Opera’s diverse line up, we just didn’t know it would be the world’s longest running musical of all time.
That’s right, Les Misérables will take to the Downtown Dubai stage for a 15-day run from November 10 to November 24, and tickets will go on sale to the public at 9am this Thursday May 26.
Dubai will witness Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s production of the musical, rather than a rendition from some B-grade outfit. This means the best actors, the best sets, and the best possible version of Les Mis’.
Mackintosh is also the producer behind the major global touring shows of The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, Miss Saigon and Cats (so we might be able to expect one of those next!). He is widely regarded as one of the people who made the musical theatre genre so successful, and he was knighted in 1996 for his services to musical theatre.
Alright, back to Les Misérables the musical – based on the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo, the sprawling story of politics, struggle and of course love, traverses the chaos of Paris in the early 1800s (and its many different inhabitants). It was first staged in song and dance form in Paris in 1981, and was then seen in English in London in 1985.
It’s estimated that it’s been seen by over 70 million people across 44 countries (and is staged in 22 languages).
“For many years I have lamented that my major musical successes have not been able to play in the Middle East because there was no auditorium with the right scale and facilities able to house my spectacular productions,” explains Mackintosh.
“The production will be sung in English by a sensational international cast, led by my current Broadway stars John Owen-Jones as Jean Valjean and Hayden Tee as Javert,” he adds.
John Owen Jones is a Welsh musical theatre singer and actor who has also played the phantom in Phantom of The Opera, while New Zealander Hayden Tee has performed a diverse variety of roles, including Jack in Sondheim’s Into The Woods.
“Though the original production is still running to sold-out houses in London after 30 years, this new production which I created for the show’s 25th anniversary is even more spectacular with its settings inspired by Victor Hugo’s own paintings. Audiences worldwide have embraced this new production as much as the original and I very much hope that this will be the first of many of my own musical productions to play this wonderful opera house”.
Here’s the trailer from the movie if you want a quick reminder of the general plot (PS: HOW good was Anne Hath’ in this?)…
Our top four tunes from Les Mis’
Do You Hear The People Sing? is a rousing singalong number, here it is as performed in the 2013 Les Miserables movie:
I Dreamed A Dream – this one makes us cry every time. Here it is as sung by Ruthie Henshall on the stage in London in 1995:
On My Own – this song crushes us every time under the weight of its aching unrequited love. Here it is from Filipina musical star Lea Salonga (who, fact fans, was the singing voice for Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin cartoon):
One Day More – who doesn’t love a harmonising ensemble?