As far as musicals are concerned, few are as well known and much loved as Les Miserables. On October 8, 1985, Les Mis opened at the Barbican Theatre. After just one week of previews, Les Mis soared, and the new benchmark was set for theatrical performance. Boublil and Schonberg’s original showpiece was adapted by Cameron Mackintosh, and the now legendary production is one of the West End’s most scintillating shows.
A historic musical in every sense
If you’re not familiar with Les Mis, the stage show is a musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel that charts one man’s determined survival against the odds. A humanitarian piece, the novel is set against the social and political struggles of French society in the nineteenth century and tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who has been persecuted throughout the years by a policeman named Javert. So much more than a cat and mouse tale, Les Miserables takes viewers on an adventure from the sprawling French countryside to the impoverished Parisian backstreets. The story deals with broken dreams, unrequited love, and sacrifice, culminating in a testament to the survival of humanity, even in the most troubling of times.
Having played out on stages around the world for more than thirty years, Les Miserables is an international award-winning musical that theatre-goers keep coming back to. Few productions can match the epic tale of passion and destruction, set amidst a backdrop of political instability and all-out revolution. When Mackintosh partnered with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1983 to bring Les Miserables to a British audience for the first time, there’s no way he could have foreseen that the show would still be playing to packed theatre houses in 2022. After enjoying incredible success at the Barbican in 1985, the show was soon transferred to the West End and Broadway, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Les Mis in numbers
Fans of Les Miserables won’t be surprised to hear that more than 120 million people in 52 countries have watched this spectacular musical adaptation. It has been translated into 22 languages, and Victor Hugo’s classic continues to mesmerise audiences around the world today. There are so many legendary numbers in the musical, with the best-known song being I Dreamed A Dream, which has been popularised by British musicians such as Susan Boyle and Katherine Jenkins. The show has solidified its place as a West End classic that continues to enthral audiences decades after its debut. Although there are so many other musicals for us to enjoy today, Les Miserables is undoubtedly the benchmark that all other performances are compared to.
Book to see Les Miserables today
If you’re ready to join the people’s crusade, now is the perfect time to reserve tickets to an upcoming Les Miserables show. With Jon Robyns and Bradley Javen up against one another in the leading roles of Jean and Javert, respectively, you can bear witness to this scintillating French drama at the West End this summer. Book your tickets now and transport yourself to the gritty days of the French Revolution for an unmatched theatrical performance. You can also check out the available dates for a number of other London musicals that you don’t want to miss this summer.