Bradley Jaden has played many roles in Les Misérables. Originally a member of the ensemble, he understudied, and went on as the leading character Jean Valjean. He played the leader of the students, Enjolras, in the show’s 30th anniversary cast. And now he’s back, playing determined detective Javert, the policeman who chases Valjean across France for years.
A former Emmerdale star, Jaden isn’t simply working his way through all the male roles in the French revolutionary tale. He’s just finished a stint playing Fiyero in another London stage favourite, Wicked, where he reunited with his Shrek The Musical co-star, Alice Fearn.
But Oz clearly proved too magical, so he’s back in 19th-century France, where students are rising in support of the people, the poor are exploited by the slightly less poor and no one’s life runs smoothly.
Bradley Jaden tells us more:
What is Les Misérables about?
It’s a story of love, hope and redemption. Based in France in the 19th century, we follow our protagonist, Jean Valjean, as he strives for betterment against the social prejudices of the era.
You play Javert. What can you tell us about him?
Inspector Javert is the main antagonist in the novel. He’s a meticulous and obsessive man, driven by his passion to fulfil his duties. He’s incapable of compassion or pity.
Why do you think Les Misérables is such an enduring success?
Because everyone can relate to the show. The music is timeless, as are the themes in the show.
You previously played student leader Enjolras in the show. What’s it like to return as Javert?
It’s truly beyond words. I feel like the luckiest man alive.
Has anything surprised you during your run so far?
I wouldn’t say surprised, but what’s excited me is the raw, fresh talent from some of the new graduates. It’s wonderful to see, as well as seeing a new company’s take on Les Mis.
What’s it like to perform at the Queen’s Theatre?
Wonderful. It’s a beautiful theatre with tons of character and history, perfect for such a special piece.
What was your first experience of theatre?
My sister is a singer, so it was watching her in productions when I was younger.
Why is watching a live performance so special?
Because it is pure escapism. For those few hours, you can switch off from all technology and the outside world and disappear into a story.
What one piece of advice would you give aspiring performers?
Never stop learning. Learn from every situation in everyday life. Keep positive when times are hard. Good things never come easy.
Apart from the Queen’s Theatre, which is your favourite London theatre?
Theatre Royal Drury Lane will always hold a special place as it’s where I made my West End debut in Shrek The Musical.
Why do you think London is such a great place to experience theatre?
It’s an amazing hub of all types of theatre and caters for everyone.
Which one other London show are you excited about at the moment?
I’m very excited about the new production of Company.
Where is your favourite place to visit in London?
I love being able to run along the river and take in the sights.
What’s your top tip for a trip to the theatre?
Turn your phone off.