First week on the Barricades – Les Miserables rehearsals commence in Melbourne

The cast and crew of Les Miserables have just completed their first week of rehearsals in Melbourne and with only 35 days until first preview, excitement is mounting in theatre circles with the return of Prisoner 24601 to the Australian stage.

Les Miserables
The famous Les Miserables logo, taken from an illustration of young Cossette in Victor Hugo’s original epic novel.

This new production of Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical features new staging, new sets (inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo) and has broken box office records internationally since it opened in 2009.

Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre will host the musical, with previews commencing on June 22 ahead of an opening night on July 3, and the Australian cast are thrilled to be bringing her home once more.

Simon Gleeson (Chess, Love Never Dies) leads the company as Jean Valjean and is looking forward to stepping onto the stage in this highly anticipated revival.

“I’m so thrilled to be playing Valjean in the new Australian production of Les Miserables“, Gleeson said.

Gleeson has worked extensively in theatre, film and television in Australia and the UK, including performing in London’s prestigious West End. He has been nominated for two Helpmann Awards (for Mamma Mia! and Love Never Dies), a Sydney Theatre Award (Love Never Dies) and most recently a Green Room Award (Chess).

“With arguably the most breathtaking score in musical theatre history, Les Miserables transformed musical theatre when it first opened. The show remains iconic and relevant today because it deals with themes of love, courage, the human spirit and the difficult choices we make which define who we are and what we stand for”, Gleeson said.

In the role of Valjean’s lifelong antagonist – Javert – is NIDA-trained performer Hayden Tee who returns to Australia after a successful career overseas. Tee joins this company after playing the role of Marius in the 20th anniversary West End production of Les Miserables in 2005.

Many of the show’s cast have taken to social media this week, documenting the first week of rehearsals. Lara Mulcahy (Madame Thenardier), Emily Langridge (Cossette), Trevor Ashley (Thenardier), Patrice Tipoki (Fantine) and many more have been posting about their experiences.

Love entering this room everyday ! #lesmisoz #MdeT #reh

Lara Mulcahy

Learning lines for @lesmisoz …with tea and our fave @pana_chocolate treats of course! #lesmisoz #lovelyladies #treatyourself

Emily Langridge

Featuring nine principal players, an ensemble of twenty-four of Australia’s finest talents and 12 youngsters making their professional debut, this company of performers are sure to keep the revolutionary spirit alive.

The full Australian cast of Les Miserables can be seen here.

For tickets and more information, visit

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

3 thoughts on “First week on the Barricades – Les Miserables rehearsals commence in Melbourne

  • One of my pet hate’s is people saying they are ‘NIDA trained’ when they have only done the Summer School. There is a huge difference between this and the three year course NIDA offers.

    • Hayden didn’t go to NIDA’s summer school. He did the one year Music Theatre course.

    • Tania is correct. Besides, Hayden’s talent and CV speaks volumes for his ability as a performer, regardless of what tertiary education he completed. Dare say he’s much more successful than many graduates of NIDA’s three year course.


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