A CHESTER theatre company will be one of the chosen few North West based theatre groups to stage an amateur production of the iconic Les Misérables for its 40th anniversary.

Tip Top productions will be part of small group of amateur companies who have been invited by Cameron Mackintosh and Music Theatre International (MTI) to present their own staging of the classic musical. It is the first time ever in the UK that amateur companies have been approached to do so.

For the North West, BOST Musicals and Liverpool Empire Creative Learning are the lead producers and will work in collaboration with Tip Top Productions and Romiley Operatic Society to stage the musical. Performances will be held at Liverpool’s iconic Empire Theatre in the venue’s centenary year, 2025.

They will also have the support and guidance of the show’s ongoing West End and international associate creative teams as they prepare their non-replica, original production of Les Misérables. Productions by other regional community theatre groups will take place across the UK during 2025.

“This is a new and exciting way of working, celebrating the work of, and raising the profile of, amateur and community-based theatre companies,” says Natalie Flynn, Senior Creative Learning Manager at Liverpool Empire Theatre.

“We are proud to be co-producers and look forward to welcoming both established and emerging talent to our iconic stage.”

“Tip Top Productions are thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside these prestigious companies on this landmark event. This is a potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our members, and we are excited to build what we’re sure will be a strong and fruitful partnership between our organisations,” said Tip Top Chairman, Steve Davies.

BOST Musicals’ Chairman, Kieth Blackwell said: “We feel incredibly privileged to have been selected by MTI and Cameron Mackintosh Ltd and are delighted to be able to co-produce this production with the fantastic team at the Liverpool Empire. We look forward to collaborating not only with the Empire, but also with our associate societies: Tip Top Productions and Romiley Operatic Society.”

“We are incredibly proud and honoured to be selected to be involved in the 40th anniversary of Les Misérables,” says Romiley Operatic Society’s Director, Mike McCaw.

“We are itching to get started on what we know will be the most amazing experience for many people involved in amateur theatre.”

Casting for the production will be via open casting calls, details of which will be released shortly. Those interested can register online via: Further Information Sign Up Form (office.com)

Performances will take place at the Liverpool Empire Theatre from July 3-5, 2025 with ticket information to be announced in the near future.

Cameron Mackintosh said of the project: “The phenomenon of LES MISÉRABLES continues to break new ground, just as Victor Hugo’s novel has since it was first published in 1862. As we approach the extraordinary landmark of the 40th record-breaking year of the iconic musical’s London run, alongside countless productions around the world, we are delighted to invite leading amateur companies in the UK to stage, for the first time, the entire show in their own productions.

“This will involve many hundreds of amateur performers around the country, becoming part of our own year-long celebrations. The success of this much-loved musical was famously made by the public - not the early critics - so what better way to enjoy this unprecedented event, than Let the People Sing!”

Sean Gray, Managing Director of Music Theatre International’s London office said: 

“MTI cherishes our amateur theatre companies - they bring our musicals to the whole country, including to towns and areas not regularly visited by national touring productions. They nurture and develop talent in a unique and invaluable way, as well as providing opportunities for everyone who loves performing and making theatre to be a part of productions on all of the country's stages. Many of the great shows live on in amateur productions, often decades after their initial productions in the West End or on Broadway. Although we have been able to license thousands of productions of Les Misérables: School Edition to schools and youth groups, the remarkable success of the West End production in London and on tour means it hasn't been possible to offer the show to our major amateur companies. 

“But for one year, we are thrilled to have this opportunity to invite amateur theatre companies across the UK to produce eleven local productions, which we hope will be genuine local community projects. We already know how much excitement the project will generate and we are really looking forward to guiding everyone towards a great national amateur celebration of Les Misérables in 2025 to mark the 40th anniversary of the London production.”