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The classic Les Miserables is one of revolutionary France's most enduring legacies. That, and empowered people, but the latter don't seem to break out into song as often, so they're less entertaining. Written by Victor Hugo in 1862, Les Miserables is an enthralling roller-coaster of a show that has some of the most memorable scenes and songs of any stage musical anywhere in the world.
With melodrama, persecution, history, empowerment, democracy and sanctimony all handled throughout the narrative, Les Miserables is a time-old tale that will always be with us, and should most certainly be experienced by Les Miserables virgins. While the dramatisation of what life was like for the proletariat in pre-revolution France may be somewhat inaccurate (when, for example, do downtrodden street urchins view the world – via the medium of song – as a place of hope and aspiration rather than a place filled with evil and corruption?), the tale is uplifting.
The story starts in the Digne in 1815, where Jean Valjean has been released on parole after 19 years of chain-gang hard labour. Wearing the yellow ticket of the ex-jailbird, society soon condemns him to the state of outcast. It takes the kindness of the Bishop of Digne to help melt the embittered exterior of Valjean, revealing a compassionate and fair man wronged by the state.
Theatre: Queen's Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.
Closing Date: Booking until 26th October 2014.
Performance Times: Monday - Saturday at 7.30 pm, matinees every Wednesday & Saturday 2.30pm.
Ticket Price: £20 - £68.
Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes (including interval).