Showbiz stars joined the crowds flocking to the big opening night of one of the world’s best-loved musicals, Les Miserables, at Salford’s Lowry Theatre. The red carpet launch on Friday night heralded the start of a four-week run of the blockbuster musical here in the city.
And a host of ITV Coronation Street stars and famous faces from the BBC and ITV made the short journey from their studios at MediaCityUK to head to The Lowry to catch the Cameron Mackintosh show known for its huge show tunes and magnificent staging. That included Corrie’s on-screen mum and daughter Millie Gibson, who plays Kelly Neelan, and her soap mum Kel Allen who plays Laura Neelan, as well as the soap’s Sue Devaney who plays Debbie Webster.
Les Miserables is one of the world’s longest-running musicals, telling the emotional Victor Hugo story of Jean Valjean and his quest for redemption amid the 19th century backdrop of the French Revolution. It features emotionally-charged songs like Bring Him Home, One Day More and I Dreamed a Dream among the epic score by Boublil and Schonberg.
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Also among the stars heading onto the red carpet on opening night was Emmerdale’s Jessie Elland, who plays the ITV soap’s Chloe Harris. Jessie looked a world away from her soap character though, rocking a super-glam blue bodycon dress and on-trend white boots as she headed to catch the show.
BBC North West Tonight stars Annabel Tiffin and Roger Johnson were among the famous faces heading to catch the show, alongside fashionista and influencer Jsky who was joined by friends including former Hollyoaks star Jazz Franks.
Jazz said she couldn’t wait to watch Les Miserables again – after first seeing the show on London’s West End. On that occasion, her friend and former co-star Carley Stenson was starring in the show.
Jazz said: “I saw it in the West End many moons ago and it was mesmerizing back then, so I can’t wait to see it in Manchester. The music really gets you going doesn’t it, and I am a bit of a crier at the best of times, it’s a very emotional show.”
Corrie’s on-screen mum and daughter duo Kel Allen and Millie Gibson were so excited to watch the show at The Lowry. Both admitted to being huge fans of the show, with Kel stating: “This has to be my favorite musical of all time.”
Millie said she was a particular fan of rambunctious song Master of the House in the show, while Kel is a big fan of I Dreamed a Dream. And according to Millie, Kel has a stunning singing voice of her own.
With Kel soon to depart Corrie as Laura Neelan in dramatic scenes ahead, would she fancy a foray into musical theatre, we asked? Kel laughed: “I love musicals, but right now I’m sticking with TV dramas.” Watch this space!
Kel added that the show always turns her into an emotional wreck, which is why it continues to mesmerize audiences across the world. She said: “The first two chords in and I’ll be in pieces. As soon as it starts I’m crying.”
Other fans of the show agreed that the show’s big moments always leave them in tears – and on opening night here in Salford, there was a standing ovation at the final curtain.
Manchester fashionista Jsky hailed the “high level of production” as the enduring magic of Les Mis, and was joined for the red carpet event by his partner who, a huge fan of the show, also in dressed 19th century style.
The new production of Les Miserables stars Dean Chisnall as Jean Valjean, Nic Greenshields as Javert and Katie Hall as Fantine. Also in the cast is 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.
Les Miserables is at The Lowry Theater in Salford until April 23.