Replacement Matt Lucas drops out of Les Mis after back injury

Posted on 10 January 2020

Matt Lucas has been forced to withdraw from the West End production of Les Miserables after injuring his back. The comedian was meant to be a temporary replacement for Gerard Carey, who was also forced to prematurely leave the production in order to avoid chronic vocal damage. Carey is currently on vocal rest until 3 February at the recommendation of his doctor.

Les Mis actor Matt Lucas breaks back

Matt Lucas has officially left the London production of Les Miserables after temporarily taking over the role of Thénardier on 23 December 2019. Lucas was scheduled to perform in the role until 1 February 2020 but has unfortunately suffered a back injury. He recently took to Twitter to announce his departure. The actor will require four to six weeks to heal and will not be returning to the show.

Lucas had this to say in a tweet: "Well I really enjoyed stepping into Les Miserables in London for a couple of weeks. I was supposed to be in the show until 1st Feb but I’ve hurt my back & it needs 4-6 weeks to heal so unfortunately I won’t be returning. Thanks to the lovely cast & crew and good luck for the run!"

Ian Hughes to replace Matt Lucas as Thénardier

Matt Lucas will be replaced by Ian Hughes, who has currently been portraying Thénardier in the touring production. Hughes will officially step into the role tonight (10 January 2020) with Cameron Blakely covering his spot in Zurich whilst he's in London. Hughe's prior notable stage credits include The Lion King and Guys and Dolls.

The show's producer Cameron Mackintosh issued a statement saying: "To lose one master of the house is unfortunate and two perhaps careless! I am delighted to be bringing Ian Hughes to the wonderful London Company to partner Josefina Gabrielle in order that Les Misérables can officially open at the Sondheim Theatre next week as planned. I am sure it will be third time lucky! I am so grateful to Matt Lucas who abandoned his holiday plans to help us out and am looking forward to welcoming back Gerard to the company at the end of February."

Is the role of Thénardier cursed?

While it's rather peculiar that both Gerard Carey and Matt Lucas have withdrawn from the production within the course of just three weeks, it is purely coincidence and there is no known "Thénardier curse" like there is with Macbeth. We are wishing Ian Hughes all the best as he takes over the role tonight at 7.30pm.

Also starring in Les Miserables at the Sondheim Theatre...

The remaining Les Miserables cast stars Ashley Gilmour as Enjolras, Bradley Jaden as Javert, Carrie Hope Fletcher (Heathers The Musical) as Fantine, Josefina Gabrielle as Madame Thénardier, Harry Apps as Marius, Jon Robyns as Jean Valjean, Lily Kerhoas as Cosette, and Shan Ako as Eponine. Rachel Ann Go will temporarily take on the role of Fantine this Spring before fully taking over the role this summer after Fletcher.

The London Les Mis cast is completed by Ciarán Bowling, Claire O'Leary, Ellie Ann Lowe, Emma Warren, Georgie Lovatt, Harry Dunnett, Jessica Joslin, Jessie Hart, Kathy Peacock, Kelly Agbowu, Leo Miles, Luke McCall, Mared Williams, Mark Pearce, Matt Dempsey, Matthew Dale, Richard Carson, Rodney Earl Clarke, Sake Wijers, Sam Peggs, Samuel Wyn-Morris, Sarah Lark, and Shane O'Riordan.

London Les Miserables tickets from £33 and up!

Holding the theatre record for the longest-running West End musical, Les Miserables is now booking at London's Sondheim Theatre until 17 October 2020 in an open-ended run. You don't have to dream a dream to see one of the hottest London theatre shows on right now! Be sure to book your tickets for Les Miserables in London today to guarantee the best seats at the best prices!

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Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.