Interview: Claire Machin, Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables

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Olivier nominee Claire Machin recently joined the West End production of Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre as Madame Thénardier.

Claire has history with the show, having made her West End debut as a swing and understudy for Eponine at the Palace Theatre before returning once before as an understudy for Madame Thénardier.


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In 2017, Claire received an Olivier nomination for her performance as Cora in the West End production of The Girls. She recently completed her run as Mrs Brill in the West End revival of Mary Poppins, having previously been in the original cast. 

Some of Claire’s other theatre credits include: Whore/Claire in Amour (Charing Cross), Violet Butterfield in Flowers for Mrs. Harris (Chichester Festival Theatre), Alice Beane in Titanic (UK Tour & Charing Cross), Rosie in Mamma Mia! (Cyprus), Barbara Castle in Made in Dagenham (Queens Theatre), Mamma Gladys in the original cast of Memphis (Shaftesbury Theatre), Mabel in The Pajama Game (Chichester & Shaftesbury Theatre), Mrs. Metcalf in Betty Blue Eyes (Novello Theatre), Widow Corney in Oliver! (Theatre Royal Drury Lane & UK Tour), Tim’s Mother & Asphynxia in Salad Days (Riverside Studios), Mamie Eisenhower in First Lady Suite (Union Theatre), Ms Darbus in High School Musical (Churchill Theatre & UK Tour), Clara Eynsford Hill in My Fair Lady (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and Charlotte in Oliver! (London Palladium).

Claire also performed her one woman show An Old Fashioned Love Story at the New London Theatre and has also been involved in various workshops supporting new writing. On screen, she appeared as Grandma Who in The Grinch Musical (NBC) and the film adaptation of Les Misérables (Working Title Films).

Les Misérables is booking at the Sondheim Theatre until 2nd March 2024. Visit for info and tickets. 

Hosted by Andrew Tomlins  

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