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Celebrate Les Miserables 25th anniversary in London

Published: Friday 3rd of September 2010

Musical fans are likely to know that this is a special year for the industry as 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Les Miserables.

And one way that many are choosing to commemorate the birthday is by visiting the capital and attending one of the many events being held in London.

One such spectacle is the special performance of the Boublil & Schonberg production, taking part in the Barbican Centre from September 14th to October 2nd 2010.

This one-off stint will feature Pop Idol 2002 runner-up Gareth Gates as he takes the role of Marius in the story about his wife-to-be Collette and her adopted father Jean Valijean - a lawbreaker in the 19th French revolution.

Visitors can sit in the same seats that Les Mis' first audience members sat in when it opened in the Barbican Theatre in 1985, going on to become the world's longest-running musical.

As such, while Les Mis is performed in theatres all around the world, visitors are expected to flock to the capital this month as this is where the legacy began.

There will only be a limited 22 performances of Cameron Mackintosh's anniversary production, which will feature new set designs, costumes and a whole new production team.

For theatre-goers who are interested in something different, they can experience anniversary celebrations of a different kind - the special Les Miserables In Concert performance on October 3rd.

Taking place in the iconic O2 arena on the River Thames, visitors can make the most of the occasion by catching a boat to the venue.

High speed catamarans travel from Waterloo Pier to The 02's QEII in under 30 minutes, allowing passengers to wind down London's famous river on their way to an evening out.

But that is not likely to be the only reason to remember this October evening as the Les Miserables In Concert is the ultimate commemorative event of the musical, featuring guest performances from the original 1985 cast members.

Celebrities will also be involved in the production, including Little Britain star Matt Lucas and Nick Jonas from the American pop group Jonas Brothers.

For those planning a trip to the capital after October 3rd, there is still the chance to see the original concert of Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre, where it has been running since 2004.

Located in the heart of the capital, on Shaftesbury Avenue, the Queen's Theatre rubs shoulders with other theatrical venues in London including the Apollo Theatre, famous for featuring Rain Main starring Hollywood star Josh Hartnett in 2008.

It is currently showing All My Sons with actors David Suchet, of Poirot fame, and Zoe Wanamaker, who has been a regular on television screens for years, starring in BBC One comedy My Family.

The Queen's Theatre was built in the 1950s and depicts the classic era of acting, marking its opening with the presence of 1920s and 30s stars Fred Astaire and Gertrude Lawrence.

Now, it remains one of the most iconic venues in the West End.

A stone's throw away from Covent Garden, theatre-goers can immerse in the atmosphere by walking around the famous courtyard, do a spot of shopping at the area's popular under-cover market or have dinner at one of its many al fresco restaurants.

Covent Garden is also the perfect place to people-watch, taking in the sights of couples after their trip to the opera or families after a full day's shopping in nearby Oxford Street.

Whatever your reason to visit the capital, London is likely to remain one of the most popular places to experience Les Mis, despite being available in more than 38 countries around the world.

And with its 25th anniversary, this year is the perfect time to become one of the 54-million crowd who has watched the spectacle and take part in its homecoming.  

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