Newest Review: ... and also have never paid more than £40 - £50 per seat for any other theatre show but for Les Mis you might have to spend a bit mor... more
We love the Frenchies....
Member Name: Mojo24
Date: 13/01/04, updated on 13/01/04 (112 review reads)
Advantages: Fantastic songs, millions of people cannot be wrong, Enthralling storyline
Disadvantages: Could be expensive
I saw Les Miserables (or Les Mis to it's fans) a couple of years ago so it wont have the same cast now. However I think whoever they cast will be fantastic as I could not fault one member when I saw it.
As far as I am concerned Les Mis is the best musical I have seen, on stage or as a film. How it only got into the teens in the 100 greatest musicals on C4 I will never know.
The musical is an adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel of the same name. It starts with the character Jean Valjean as he is released from a chain gang after serving umpteen years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's baby. It is set in pre-revolutionery France so it all looks a bit miserable and nearly everyone is very poor and raggedy.
Valjean skips his bail notice as no-one is giving him a job knowing he is a convicted criminal and he starts his own life. We catch up with him some years later when he has done fairly well for himself. We meet one of his hard-done-to employees (soon to be an ex-employee) Fantine and this is where the story starts to kick in. When Fantine dies (sorry to spoil it), Valjean promises to look after Fantine's young daughter, Cosette, who lives with an unscrupulous landlord, Thenardier and his wife, who live on the edge of Paris with their own daughter Eponine.
All the while, Valjean is being pursued by an over-zealous probation officer called Javert who will never give up finding the ever-elusive Valjean. We meet a host of characters along the way and then catch up with them several years later when Cosette and Eponine have grown into two very different young women. By this time, the revolution is about to kick off under the leadership of students Marius and Enjrolas.
The musical goes on for about three hours and it is full of fantastic sad, funny and meaningful songs. It goes from very miserable (as per the title) to very uplifting and you will not be dry-eyed by the time you leave. I have bought the
soundtrack on CD which I play a lot and love every time. The songs are fantastic, the actors spot on and the set and costumes appropriate to the simplicity and also the complexity of the story.
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