The tour stars Dean Chisnall as the iconic ‘Jean Valjean’and Nic Greenshields as antagonist ‘Javert’. We had a chat with them about what people can expect..
You’re both playing two of the most iconic roles in musical theatre, Jean Valjean and Javert in Les Misérables. What’s it like taking on roles like these?
Dean Chisnall: I say it to everybody, this is the dream role for anybody in musical theatre. It’s the pinnacle for any male performer and I just feel very lucky to do it, and to have done it for as long as I have. I’ve now played over 500 performances as Jean Valjean, and it still feels as magical as it did the first time I stepped on the stage. I pinch myself every day.
Nic Greenshields: It’s a great privilege to play Javert. I first saw the show when I was in my teens, and to be doing it 25-years later is a huge honour. I try to bring out a different side to Javert, giving him multiple dimensions and making him more than just the baddie, showing a more emotional side to him.
Were you both fans of the show before being part of it, do you remember your first experience of Les Mis?
DC: I do remember the first time I saw it. I’ve always been a fan, long before I even dreamt of having a career in theatre. I was in London on my own about the age of 18 and pootled off to get myself a single ticket to see Les Misérables at The Palace Theatre. I sat there and completely fell in love with the show.
NG: I remember buying a cassette when I was about 11 years old of people singing songs from Les Mis. I remember listening to it and trying to imagine what the show would be like. Eventually I begged my Mum to take me, and we queued for returns. I was just blown away. The show really resonated with me, and I thought “I want to be part of this. This is what I want to do.”
What are your favourite moments in the show?
DC: I love Bring Him Home. I know it’s a song that I sing on my own, but it has always felt like a whole company moment. The rest of the cast are asleep on the barricades, so it always feels quite magical. I also love the absolutely iconic One Day More, with the whole company there. To be honest, the whole show is two and a half hours of pure magic.
NG: I absolutely agree, One Day More is such an iconic moment for everyone. There is no better way to end the first act of a show! I always enjoy listening to Fantine sing ‘I Dreamed A Dream’, it’s a great number and I defy anyone to come and see it and not love that moment. The moments I have with Dean are wonderfully dramatic. I love the opening with the prisoners, and the moment that moves me is the finale with Valjean and Cosette. It’s musically so beautiful and the lyrics are stunning as well.
Why do you think audiences still love to come and see Les Mis?
DC: The messages of Les Mis are still so relevant. Everyone has something that they can relate to in the show, something that they have experienced in their lives. The show now is as fresh as it ever was, it’s a wonderful company that we’ve got here, and we’re delighted to be sharing it with people. There is no show that has a reaction quite like this one. It’s the greatest show on earth.
NG: The music is definitely a huge part of it. The score is stunning and has really broken through into popular culture bringing it to a new audience. Ultimately, I think the show has remained so popular because of the themes. It’s a show about redemption and the human condition and everything that still resonates with us all today. We connect with the characters and become engrossed in the story and the beautiful music pulls everything together. It’s clearly a magical formula.
Les Misérables is at MK Theatre from Tuesday 26 April to Saturday 21 May. For tickets, visit ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes.
The show also stars Ian Hughes as ‘Thénardier’, Will Callan as ‘Marius’, Nathania Ong as ‘Eponine’, Helen Walsh as ‘Madame Thénardier’, Samuel Wyn-Morris as ‘Enjolras’ and Paige Blankson as ‘Cosette’.
The cast is completed by George Arvidson, Aidan Banyard, Will Barratt, Adam Boardman, Rebecca Bolton, Emily Olive Boyd, Olivia Brereton, Harry Chandler, Rebecca Ferrin, Aimee Good, Steven Hall, Jenna Innes, Tessa Kadler, Damien Kneale, Caleb Lagayan, Abel Law, Joseph McDonnell, Zabrina Norry, Emily Owens, Jordan Simon Pollard, Jamie Pritchard, Dean Read and Rebecca Ridout.
Since Cameron Mackintosh first conceived this acclaimed new production of LES MISÉRABLES in 2009 to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary, it has taken t has taken the world by storm continuing to enjoy record-breaking runs in countries including North America, Australia, Japan, Korea, France and Spain.
Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 52 countries and in 22 languages, LES MISÉRABLES is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular and contemporary musicals
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