Breaking down the Barricades in a fabulous night of musical delights

BIG NIGHT OUT Beyond the Barricade
BIG NIGHT OUT Beyond the Barricade

Fans of big musicals got a treat at Preston’s Charter Theatre last week as the stars of Beyond The Barricade returned for a night of showstopping treats from all the biggest West End musicals performed by those who starred in one of the greatest – Les Miserables – on the West End stage

Lover of musical showstoppers turned out in force last week as show songs extravaganza Beyond the Barricade, returned to Preston.

Four former stars of one of the greatest musicals, Les 
Miserables, who performed in the West End and on tour with the show, took to the Charter Theatre’s stage to give fabulous renditions of classic tunes.

The show’s founders Andy Reiss and David Fawcett met while appearing in the 
Manchester production of Les Miserables – David was 
playing the lead role of Jean Valjean while Andy played most of the male characters, including Enjolras and Valjean,

For the first few Beyond the Barricade concerts, the pair were joined on stage by Gemma Sandy and Alison Williams.

But as the show grew more popular, Andy and David 
decided to cast only former stars of Les Mis, to mark 
themselves out from the many other musical shows then 
doing the rounds.

Andy and the show’s original keyboard player John Cornford work hard to capture the feel of the musicals’ original orchestrations and every note of the show is still played and sung live – very rare indeed.

Their first major tour was in 1999 and was followed by a gala performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2000, which starred a fantastic 100 voice choir made up of fans who had worked with Andy on the 
numerous Les Miserables Masterclasses he had directed.

The show has now toured as far afield as Ireland, Spain, Malta and Denmark, and has also appeared on cruise liners Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2.

They are joined on this tour by Katie Leeming, who played Eponine in the West End, and Rebecca Vere who played 
Cosette. The four, as well as being past principals from the London production of Les Miserables, also appeared in the spectacular 25th Anniversary Concert at the 02 Arena.

Together they delighted the Charter Theatre crowds with note perfect renditions of tunes from Miss Saigon, The Lion King, Phantom Of The Opera, Chess, Mamma Mia, Blood Brothers, The Jersey Boys and more.

And the show finished with a spectacular finale from – what else – Les Miserables!