Tracie Bennett in Les Miserables from 17 Jan 2006.

Tracie Bennett in Les Miserables from 17 Jan 2006.

TV and stage actress Tracie Bennett will play the role of Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre from 17 January 2006.

Tracie Bennett has had a varied TV and stage career to date - her credits range from Sharon Gaskill in the soap Coronation Street and Millandra in the hit film Shirley Valentine to Ilona Ritter in She Loves Me at London's Savoy theatre in 1994, for which she won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical. She has also turned her hand to presenting, with OK TV and Tracie Goes To Hollywood.

Les Miserables is now in its 21st year, making it one of the West End's longest-running shows.

TRACIE BENNETT will be joining the current cast which includes JOHN OWEN-JONES (Jean Valjean), CORNELL JOHN (Javert), BARRY JAMES (Monsieur Thenardier) and KERRY ELLIS (Fantine).

Les Miserables, which concerns Love and bravery in 19th century France during the revolutionary struggles, is written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, based on the novel by Victor Hugo. It has lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, with original text by Alain Boublil and additional material by James Fenton. It is adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.

After 18 years and over 7500 performances, the show had its final performance at the Palace Theatre on Sat 27 March 2004. The show then moved to the Queen's theatre from 3 April 2004. In October 2006 Les Miserables will become the longest-running musical ever in the West End and details will be announced shortly of the special celebrations to mark the event.

Les Miserables has been seen by over 53 million people worldwide in 38 countries and in 21 languages. There have been 31 cast recordings of "Les Miserables", including the multi-platinum London cast recording and the Grammy Award-winning Broadway cast and complete symphonic albums. The video of the 10th Anniversary Royal Albert Hall Gala Concert has sold well over one million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling musical videos in the UK.

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