Les Miserables - Queens Theatre, London
Important Info: PLEASE NOTE: No babes in arms are allowed during the performance.
Les Miserables Photos & Video
One musical in the West End has been seen by more people than any other musical in London, running for 24 years and clocking up a massive 9,000 performances along the way. It makes it the longest running musical in Theatreland and the second longest running show overall (after Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap”).
The show is, of course, is “Le Misérables”, the Cameron Mackintosh blockbuster based on the 1862 Victor Hugo novel of the same name. It is a tale of social and political strife in 19th century France, with the brink of revolution peering over the horizon in what was a turbulent period in French history. It was a period in which Napoleonic rule was gripping Europe and the country was still feeling the effects of the first revolution in the 1790s.
It was also a period of great stories.
The story of “Les Misérables” focuses on Jean Valjean following his release from prison on parole. It should be a time when a man earns his freedom once more, but in the case of Valjean he is rendered an outcast, forcing him to seek refuge with the Bishop of Digne.
However, Valjean is not one to stay out of trouble and his actions at this point in the story lead to a power struggle between the ex-con and the Police Inspector Javert over a period of 20 years. Caught stealing silver, Valjean is spared from further imprisonment by the Bishop, who lies for him and sends him on his way. But Javert is determined to catch them man who has violated the terms of his parole and it will be many years before this judgement of his character will be changed. So during a period we witness Valjean as he finds new success under a new name and comes close to the hands of Javert, whilst another revolution constantly looms over the city of Paris.
The show can be called the most popular musical in the world, with deep compelling characters that deal with their own secrets and troublesome consequences. As the story moves forwards, The Audience is left wondering what Valjean’s actions were and why he went about them, whilst the value of the French society of the time falls under scrutiny. It also features some well known songs, such as “On My Own”, “One Day More” and “Do You Hear The People Sing?”
With the story first emerging from the pages of Hugo’s book in 1862, “Les Misérables” has since been witnessed and experienced all around the world. This is thanks to the work of Cameron Mackintosh and Trevor Nunn, who were compelled to work on an English language version of the show after the novel was brought to Mackintosh’s attention by director Peter Ferago. This was in 1982 and it wasn’t long before other talents were brought onboard, with Herbert Kretzmer hired to pen the lyrics and given the opportunity to take the concepts and ideas of the French original and expand them into something new. The results are right there on stage to see.
Show & Venue InformationQueens Theatre
Saturday, 01 December 2012
Saturday, 26 March 2016
2 hours 50 minutes including one interval.
No babes in arms are allowed during the performance.