There has never been a musical like Les Miserables. In addition to record-breaking runs on the West End and Broadway, the show has been produced in over 40 countries in 21 different languages.
In celebration of its 25th Anniversary, producer Cameron Mackintosh and creators, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg present a glorious new revival at the Queen’s Theatre. Audiences fortunate enough to purchase Les Miserables tickets will be treated to a production that uses paintings by Victor Hugo to introduce the show to a new generation of theatregoers.
Les Mis tells the epic story of Jean Valjean, the poor but noble Frenchman trying to escape his criminal past while doggedly hunted by the unyielding Inspector Javert. Along the way, he meets such unforgettable characters as the doomed Fantine, her child Cosette, the crooked Thenardiers, and the revolutionary-minded students of the 1832 Paris Uprising.
The triple platinum-selling soundtrack is at turns haunting, heartbreaking and inspiring. Dozens of performers have given such songs as “On My Own,” “Bring Him Home” and “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” life beyond the stage. An episode of the sitcom Seinfeld involved one of the characters being unable to get the song “Master of the House” out of his head, and other TV shows such as Dawson’s Creek have used songs from this incredibly successful musical.
But perhaps the most amazing Les Mis moment came in 1999 when a 47-year-old Scottish woman named Susan Boyle sang “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent. Within weeks, her performance received over 100 millions views on the Internet and ignited a best-selling recording career.
A show with as many distinct and memorable characters as Les Mis was bound to attract some of the brightest stars in musical theatre. The original 1985 production featured such talent as Patti LuPone, Alun Armstrong and Roger Allam. It gave Colm Wilkinson his career-defining role as Valjean and made household names out of Michael Ball and Frances Ruffelle.
As part of the 25th Anniversary celebration, a concert version was produced at the O2 Arena. The cast of over 300 starred Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean and featured Lea Salonga, Nick Jonas and Matt Lucas. A cinema version of the concert appeared in over 500 cities around the world.
Those who purchase Les Miserables tickets at the Queen’s Theatre have the opportunity to take part in musical theatre history. And even after 25 years, the answer to the question, “Do you hear the people sing?” is still a resounding, “Yes!”