Starring past principal performers from Les Misérables in the West End and on UK tour, this blockbusting two-hour show features favourite songs from the world’s greatest West End and Broadway musicals including the latest sensation Hamilton, The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Evita, Wicked, Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King and of course Les Misérables, to name just a few.
Beyond the Barricade has been delighting audiences throughout the UK and Europe for 19 years, from London’s Royal Albert Hall to the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria Cunard cruise liners. The show made its debut in Asia in 2015, performing sold-out concerts in Manila, Singapore and Hong Kong, followed by a 21-venue tour of New Zealand in 2016. Due to popular demand, Beyond the Barricade returns to New Zealand this year, before touring Australia.
The former cast members of London’s longest-running musical, Les Misérables, include Andy Reiss – who has played numerous male roles including Jean Valjean and Enjolras; David Fawcett – who played Valjean; Katie Leeming – who played the role of Eponine; and Poppy Tierney – who played Cosette. The four performers are accompanied by an ensemble of talented musicians to create an authentic live experience, capturing all the passions and orchestrations of the original shows.
Andy Reiss and David Fawcett met while performing in Les Misérables in the West End and then in Manchester, and in 1996 devised a charity concert comprised of musical hits. Over the next few years the show began to take on a life of its own and in 1999 was renamed Beyond the Barricade with the move to only cast Les Misérables principals.
A major UK tour followed culminating in a Gala Performance at the Royal Albert Hall accompanied by a 100-voice choir of people who had worked with Andy on the numerous Les Misérables Masterclasses he had directed. Ten years later, Beyond the Barricade celebrated its first decade of touring with a Gala Concert at the Birmingham Symphony Hall.
“Our aim was, and continues to be, to deliver these much-loved songs from the top musicals in a way that captures the feel of the original orchestrations, so the audience feels they are listening to the original performance,” explains co-founder Andy Reiss. “We don’t use backing tracks, so every musical note is played and sung live, giving a dynamic feel to the show.”
Andy Reiss landed his first professional role in musical theatre following an open audition for the first UK production of Les Misérables outside the West End – in Manchester. Not only did he stay with Les Misérables for its entire residency in Manchester, he ended up being the show’s Resident Director whilst performing in the show, and remains the only person ever to do this.
Andy has also performed in Les Misérables in Dublin and Edinburgh, and after a two-year break from the show he returned as the Resident Director for the UK 1st National Tour. Andy was also selected from the worldwide casts of Les Misérables to appear in the 10th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Andy has also performed in the musical Chess, and as Che Guevara in the UK national tour of Evita.
David Fawcett spent two years in the West End production of Les Misérables, where he played the Bishop of Digne and the lead role of Jean Valjean on many occasions, having previously spent 13 months in the original Manchester production. He also appeared in the 10th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. David’s other musical theatre roles include Jesus in the rock musicals, Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell, the Emcee in Cabaret and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls.
As well as performing various roles including Eponine in the West End production of Les Misérables for three years, Katie Leeming appeared in the 25th Anniversary concert at the O2 Arena in London, and was delighted to be asked to perform at The Royal Variety Performance 2010 at the London Palladium. Her involvement with Les Misérables continued with the televised performance of The Classical Brit Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2011, and as an ensemble vocalist in the 2012 Oscar-winning movie.
Poppy Tierney has performed in numerous well-loved musicals both in London’s West End and on UK tour. In addition to playing Cosette in the UK tour of Les Misérables, she has performed in Mary Poppins, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Sunset Boulevard with Petula Clark, and Miss Saigon in the West End. Her other musical theatre credits in the UK include Cats, Aspects of Love starring opposite David Essex, Evita, My Fair Lady and The Witches of Eastwick playing opposite Marti Pellow. Poppy has also recently finished filming for the upcoming movie Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
“I was fortunate enough to see Beyond the Barricade perform a few years ago in the UK and was bowled over by the quality of their performances, and the intimate ambience of the show,” said Producer and CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, James Cundall. “Having brought many of the top musicals to Australia over the last two decades, I instantly thought they would be warmly received by Australian audiences. I am delighted to be bringing these four powerhouse voices on tour.”
Beyond the Barricade tours Australia: 1 June – 10 July 2018. For more information and performance schedule, visit: www.beyondthebarricade.com.au for details.
Image: Beyond the Barricade Cast (supplied)