Beyond the Barricade, on at The Congress Theatre on Saturday, December 15, began life in 1996, following a request to perform a musical theatre charity concert.
The original show was organised and developed by Andy Reiss and David Fawcett, who met when performing in the Manchester production of Les Miserables, and the first series of concerts were staged as part of a MENCAP fundraising drive.
In fact, the very first performance of the show that was to become Beyond the Barricade took place in a small marquee in the grounds of a country house in Piltdown, Sussex – home of the Piltdown Man – the legendary missing link!
Gemma Sandy and Alison Williams, joined Andy and David for the first few concerts, and very soon the show began to take on a life of its own.
With requests for more and more appearances, the show was expanded and began booking into venues throughout the UK.
However the show needed to separate itself from the plethora of other musical theatre shows on the circuit and the decision was made to cast only from ex-Les Miserables cast members so that the public were under no illusion as to the quality of the performers.
Beyond the Barricade launched into a major UK Tour and swiftly built up a reputation for its slick no nonsense style - giving musical theatre songs a bold concert format treatment - but with the conviction and intention to deliver the material as if the audience were watching the original performance.
Over the years great female voices of the West End have joined the team - many going on to great things following their stint with BTB.
This brand new production includes songs from Miss Saigon, The Lion King, Phantom Of The Opera, Chess, West Side Story, The Jersey Boys and many more productions, climaxing with a spectacular finale from, of course, Les Miserables!