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The Greatest Showman: The Theatrical Rise Of Hugh Jackman

Thursday, 13 December 2018 Written by Helen Payne

Ladies and gents, this is the moment you've been waiting for! Hugh Jackman has announced a worldwide arena tour, where he’ll perform hits from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and other film and Broadway favourites. The Man. The Music. The Show has seen incredible demand for tickets, with more and more extra dates getting announced across the UK and Ireland. So why all the fuss? Find out by getting to know more about the man, the music and, you guessed it, the show.

The Man

If you’re into films, you’ll inevitably know that Hugh Jackman is one of the most versatile actors of our generation, and an instantly recognisable face on the big screen. If you’re not, you’ll probably still know him for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men series. He’s played the mutton chopped misanthrope in nine films across nearly two decades.

His credits also include everything from the monster slayer Van Helsing to the alcoholic ski-jumping coach Bronson Peary in Eddie the Eagle, and a cattle drover in Australia, with countless other diverse roles on a resumé dating back to the mid-1990s. In the early 2000s he was even in the running for the iconic role of James Bond, though turned down the opportunity as as he wanted to try new things—things that didn’t require dodging bullets or strenuous fight sequences.

Aged 50, our jacked man has decided to take a break from the world of skin tight costumes, intensive diets and strict workouts (I mean have you seen the six pack on Wolverine?!), having chosen to exercise those vocal cords instead.

The Music

You could say the Hollywood actor is a Jack of all trades—see what we did there?—as he’s had a long affair with musical theatre dating back decades. In the early ‘90s he made a name for himself in his native Australia with lead roles in stage performances of favourites such as Beauty and The Beast and Sunset Boulevard. But it was in 1998 that he got his big theatrical break and was able to branch out of his home country. He was cast as the male lead in Oklahoma! in the West End. The performance earned him an Olivier Award nomination the following year for Best Actor in a Musical.

After that Jackman was on a roll! In 2003 he was again given the lead, this time in The Boy From Oz, a jukebox musical about singer-songwriter Peter Allen. It took him to Broadway and he jumped on the Australian touring circuit with it. Ten years later Jackman reinforced his stage stature with an Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe win for his performance as Valjean in the 2012 adaptation of Les Misérables.

It may be an old story, being based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel of the same name, but the musical’s big screen reinvention meant new audiences were being introduced to musical theatre in huge numbers. The proof was in the pudding as the accompanying album for Les Misérables topped the charts at number one in both the US and UK.

More recently The Greatest Showman has had the most traction among cinema-goers and singalong junkies. Jackman played the role of P. T. Barnum in Michael Gracey’s take on Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon’s story, a musical inspired by the Barnum & Bailey Circus and its star attractions. The soundtrack, featuring 11 songs performed by Jackman and the cast, became just the second album in 30 years to achieve 11 consecutive weeks at number one in the UK, sliding in next to Adele. No pressure then, for him to put on one of the biggest shows of his life!

The Show

It seems Jackman’s story so far has led him to this moment: the announcement of his first world tour. He’ll need to channel some of that Wolverine strength and circus magic for the massive arena performances featuring some of the biggest hits from his impressive musical career—we’re keeping our fingers crossed for The Greatest Show, A Million Dreams, and Do You Hear The People Sing?.

The Man. The Music. The Tour takes in  12 dates across the UK and Ireland, including six consecutive nights at the O2 Arena, as well as hitting up the US and Europe for an extensive run up until July 2019. It’s going to be spectacular, with a huge orchestra, backing singers, dancers, hairspray, glitter, costumes, aliens, claws, fight scenes… OK, the show probably won’t have those last few, but we’ve still got our fingers crossed for an X-Men-inspired number.

Regardless of what he plays on his upcoming tour, whether intimate, heart-touching scenes from Les Misérables, a full on song-and-dance number complete with a bearded lady, or a deep cut from his extensive back catalogue of over two decades’ worth of work, there’s no doubt that Hugh Jackman is in line to become THE greatest showman.

Hugh Jackman Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows

Mon May 13 2019 - HAMBURG Barclaycard Arena (Germany)
Tue May 14 2019 - BERLIN Mercendes-Benz-Arena (Germany)
Thu May 16 2019 - COLOGNE Lanxess Arena (Germany)
Fri May 17 2019 - AMSTERDAM Ziggo Dome (Netherlands)
Sun May 19 2019 - ZURICH Hallenstadion (Switzerland)
Tue May 21 2019 - MANNHEIM SAP Arena (Germany)
Wed May 22 2019 - PARIS AccorHotels Arena (France)
Fri May 24 2019 - MANCHESTER Arena
Sat May 25 2019 - MANCHESTER Arena
Mon May 27 2019 - BIRMINGHAM Resorts World Arena
Tue May 28 2019 - BIRMINGHAM Resorts World Arena
Thu May 30 2019 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Fri May 31 2019 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Sun June 02 2019 - LONDON O2 Arena
Mon June 03 2019 - LONDON O2 Arena
Tue June 04 2019 - LONDON O2 Arena
Wed June 05 2019 - LONDON O2 Arena
Thu June 06 2019 - LONDON O2 Arena
Fri June 07 2019 - LONDON O2 Arena
Tue June 18 2019 - HOUSTON Texas - Toyota Center (USA)
Wed June 19 2019 - DALLAS Texas - American Airlines Center (USA)
Fri June 21 2019 - CHICAGO Illinois - United Center (USA)
Sat June 22 2019 - SAINT PAUL Minnesota - Xcel Energy Center (USA)
Mon June 24 2019 - DETROIT Michigan - Little Caesars Arena (USA)
Tue June 25 2019 - TORONTO Ontario - Scotiabank Arena (Canada)
Thu June 27 2019 - BOSTON Massachusetts - TD Garden (USA)
Fri June 28 2019 - NEW YORK New York - Madison Square Garden (USA)
Sat June 29 2019 - NEW YORK New York - Madison Square Garden (USA)
Sun June 30 2019 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia (USA)
Mon July 01 2019 - WASHINGTON District Of Columbia - Capital One Arena (USA)
Wed July 03 2019 - ATLANTA Georgia - State Farm Arena (USA)
Fri July 05 2019 - TAMPA Florida - Amalie Arena (USA)
Sat July 06 2019 - FORT LAUDERDALE - BB&T Center (USA)
Wed July 10 2019 - DENVER Colorado - Pepsi Center (USA)
Thu July 11 2019 - SALT LAKE CITY Utah - Vivint Smart Home Arena (USA)
Fri July 12 2019 - SALT LAKE CITY Utah - Vivint Smart Home Arena (USA)
Sat July 13 2019 - LAS VEGAS Nevada - MGM Grand Garden Arena (USA)
Sun July 14 2019 - GLENDALE Arizona - Gila River Arena (USA)
Tue July 16 2019 - SAN DIEGO California - Valley View Casino Center (USA)
Wed July 17 2019 - SAN JOSE California - SAP Center (USA)
Fri July 19 2019 - LOS ANGELES California - Hollywood Bowl (USA)
Sat July 20 2019 - LOS ANGELES California - Hollywood Bowl (USA)

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