Ever dreamed a dream of seeing an epic West End musical during lockdown? Help is finally at hand, thanks to superstar producer Cameron Mackintosh. He’s just made available for download a filmed version of the epic 2019 production of ‘Les Misérables – The Staged Concert’.
What is a staged concert, you might ask? Well, last July, the original London production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Victor Hugo adaptation, which had been running for more than three decades, finally closed. To bridge the gap between the closure and the brand new Mackintosh production – which opened at the newly renamed Sondheim Theatre in December – a staged concert was born. Performed at the Gielgud Theatre, the concert featured all the timeless bangers you know and love – ‘Do You Hear the People Sing’, ‘Master of the House’, ‘On My Own’ – but without the full elaborate staging.
The concert version of the story of Jean Valjean and the Paris Uprising of 1832 still offers a spine-tinglingly, heart-wrenchingly good time. The cast is seriously impressive, too: the legendary Michael Ball (who made his West End debut as Marius in the original 1985 production) stars as Javert, Alfie Boe plays Jean Valjean, Carrie Hope Fletcher plays Fantine and Matt Lucas is the roguish hotelier Thénardier.
It’ll cost you £9.99 to download, but a fiver from every sale will be split between three great causes: the charity Acting for Others, the Musicians Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund and Captain Tom Moore’s Walk for the NHS. Mackintosh has kicked things off with a hefty £100,000 donation from his foundation.
And you can gear up for your big ‘Les Mis’ viewing sesh with a new mini-feature about the musical, ‘Bringing It Home’, created in support of the NHS.
Download ‘Les Misérables – The Staged Concert’ here.
Less into musicals? Check out what the National Theatre is streaming for free every Thursday.