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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Windsor Castle hosts Les Mis gala
Les Miserables
The cast of Les Miserables will perform twice in one night
Musical Les Miserables is to transfer to Windsor Castle for a special performance when the Queen entertains French President Jacques Chirac.

The royal appointment marks 100 years of the Entente Cordiale, Britain's friendly agreement with France.

As soon as the curtain goes down on their West End show on 18 November the cast and orchestra will be given a police escort to Windsor Castle.

Producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh called the invitation "a thrilling honour".

"This will undoubtedly be the most intimate yet grand performance we have ever undertaken," he said.

"Les Miserables is probably the most successful Anglo-French theatre production ever, and it seems both appropriate and a wonderful way to start the celebrations for our 20th anniversary year," he said.

Worldwide appeal

The Queen will host a dinner for Mr Chirac which will be followed by Les Miserables.

Members of the Royal Philharmonic and a 25-strong choir will also join the celebrations.

To accommodate the invitation the usual West End performance will be brought forward by 75 minutes, with curtain going up at 6.15pm, while the Queen will expect to see them around 10.45pm.

The musical is based on the novel by Victor Hugo and was written by Frenchman Alan Boubill and Claude-Michel Schonberg.

It has been seen by more than 52 million people worldwide in 38 countries and 21 languages.

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