Get out your lighters, glowsticks, and silver candlesticks because Les Misérables is getting an arena spectacular. Expanded from the staged concert that played London's West End in 2019, Les Misérables The Arena Spectacular will embark on a world tour beginning in September 2024.
The tour has already secured bookings in 15 countries, including the U.K., Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and more. Performances are expected to continue through the musical's 40th anniversary celebration in 2025, with dates in North America and South America to follow.
The new tour has been crafted for arenas and large theatres with audiences between 3,000 and 5,000, and will feature a U.K. company of more than 110 actors, musicians, and crew. A host of fan favorite Les Misérables alum are expected to appear during the tour as well. Casting, date, and creative team members will be revealed in the coming months.
“Since the very first concert performance of Les Misérables in Sydney in January 1989, this remarkable musical has proved to be as powerful and successful in its every manifestation, whether in its original full theatrical form, a blockbuster musical movie, or any of its numerous spectacularly staged concert performances," says producer Cameron Mackintosh in a statement. "Over the show’s nearly 40-year existence, it has also proved to be the launch pad for an extraordinary list of stars around the world, in many different languages and countries. This much anticipated world tour will be a unique opportunity for many of these celebrated performers to play their favorite roles for short periods in different parts of the world, so fans will get the chance to see their favorite stars (and mine!) in their favorite musical."
An arena tour for a musical is rare, but not unprecedented. Rock operas Jesus Christ Superstar and The Who's Tommy both played arenas in their heyday, and an arena tour of Broadway's ill-fated Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was initially expected to follow the Main Stem run.
Les Misérables is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and is based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has music by Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, original French text by Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, additional material by James Fenton, and an adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. Following a French production in 1980, the English translation premiered via Royal Shakespeare Company in 1985, transferring to London's West End later the same year and to Broadway in 1987. The musical became one of a string of British-originating musical juggernauts, becoming the West End's longest-running musical and one of Broadway's longest-running shows as well. The original London production closed in 2019, reopening with an updated physical production and staging later the same year. The musical's longtime West End home, the Queen's Theatre, hosted Les Misérables The Staged Concert, on which this arena spectacular is based, in the interim between the two productions.
Concert presentations have been a big part of Les Misérables' legacy throughout its history, including filmed anniversary concerts in 1995 and 2010. Les Misérables The Staged Concert was also filmed and broadcast to movie theatres internationally. A feature film adaptation starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and Eddie Redmayne was released in 2012 and earned a Best Picture nomination at the 2013 Academy Awards.