A musical based on a novel written by a poet? Not the most obvious success story perhaps, but Les Miserables is easily one of the most successful musical productions of all time. Its premiering slot in the UK sold out tickets, marking the beginning of this musical masterpiece's success story. The London production has now been running in the West End constantly since 1985.
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, the story follows a peasant who spent nineteen years behind bars for stealing a loaf of bread. Jean Valjean breaks parole and attempts to rebuild his life. However, he is tirelessly hunted by police inspector Javert. Taking on a new identity as a wealthy factory owner, Valjean meets one of his employees - Fantine, a struggling single mother. After Fantine's death, he is charged with taking care of her daughter Cosette. Together, they must escape the claws of the merciless Javert.
Les Miserables started out as a novel written by Victor Hugo in 1862. It then became the subject of a French concept album, which 'Cats' producer Cameron Mackintosh later picked up later. Together with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Les Miserables became a phenomenon in London. It is now the second longest-running show in the West End. Even more impressively, it's also the second longest-running musical in the world.
Having started as a concept album, it's no surprise that the soundtrack is sensational. 'I Dreamed a Dream', 'Castle on a Cloud', and 'On My Own' are just some of the epic musical numbers. The music has proved so popular, the concert version of Les Miserables sold out tickets in record time.
Les Miserables is a journey through revolutionary France which has fascinated audiences for over 30 years. There's only one reason that shows like this run for so long: their ability to utterly enrapture an audience and thrust you into the story. If you see one musical in your life, this is the one, so grab tickets to Les Miserables now.