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Thursday, January 26

Colm Wilkinson & Frances Ruffelle in Les Miserables Film

Colm Wilkinson (the first Jean Valjean) and Frances Ruffelle, who created the part of Eponine have been given feature roles in the Les Miserables movie.

Wilkinson will play the Bishop of Digne and Ruffelle will play “the most fabulous whore” in the group of prostitutes who sing the number Lovely Ladies.

Wilkinson has played Valjean in London and on Broadway and said that as he takes on the role of the bishop his journey with Les Miserables has ended “and I have come full circle”.

The director Tom Hooper has already spent three weeks working with Hugh Jackman on his characterisation of Jean Valjean with rehearsals starting at Pinewood studios next week for seven weeks. There’s also talk of some filming being done in France.

Russell Crowe (Inspector Javert) will be arriving in the UK next week, along with Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Eddie Redmayne (Marius), Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) and Aaron Tveit (Enjolras). Taylor Swift (Eponine) arrived here earlier this week. Other key roles are still in negotiation.

The stage show has 28 actors playing a variety of roles but Cameron Mackintosh said the film version will have scores of parts for West End performers saying:  “It’s the same as when the musical Oliver! was being made and dozens — probably hundreds — of people from London stage shows took part”.

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