Here's a glimpse behind the curtain of Les Misérables, coming to Milton Keynes this month

It’s just three weeks now until Les Misérables opens at MK Theatre, and here’s what you can expect to see.

By Sally Murrer
Monday, 4th April 2022, 3:52 pm

Les Miz is one of the world’s most popular musicals and has been seen by more than 130 million people from all over the world.

It’s been performed in 53 countries and sung in no less than 22 languages.

With the UK Tour arriving in Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday 26 April, we got down to the facts and figures of what this colossal production actually involves.

LES MISERABLES UK TOUR. Ian Huges 'Thenardier' and Helen Walsh 'Madame Thenardier'. Photo Danny Kaan

It is one of the largest productions on tour with a cast of 33, orchestra of 14 and a technical team of 32 who bring the show to life eight times a week.

It requires fourteen 45-foot trailers to move the sets, costumes, and equipment from one venue to the next, and over 100 people work around the clock to make transferring the show possible!

Every musical production relies on a talented wardrobe and dresser team, and Les Misérables is no exception. The ensemble performers have up to 10 costume changes per show, and the quickest change comes from Katie Hall in the role of Fantine, who has just 15 seconds to change costumes.

The wardrobe team have over 2,000 items of costume and accessories, including 103 wigs made from human hair. All these items require care and attention, especially the more valuable items such as the feathers on Madame Thénardier’s wedding dress, which are real ostrich feathers.

Les Miz on stage

The 32 members of the technical team have 272 lights, over 400 lighting cues and 85 mics to operate in every single show. This means that two radio engineers are needed backstage just to monitor and look after all the sound equipment during the show.

There are approximately 23 musical instruments in the orchestra pit, and that doesn’t include the percussion rig which alone includes 42 instruments. Some of the more interesting percussion instruments include a bin lid which is used in the song Beggars at the Feast, pots and pans used in the Innkeepers scene and the ‘Gavroche Drum’, an 8-inch mini snare drum that plays whenever Gavroche sings.

This is just a small peak at the work that goes into making one of the biggest productions completely

seamless, so it can be enjoyed by the thousands of audience members that come to see it.

Les Misérables performs at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday 26 April to Saturday 21 May.

Tickets are available here.

The musical stars Dean Chisnall as ‘Jean Valjean’, Nic Greenshields as ‘Javert’, 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.