To date over 70 MILLION people have seen Les Miserables worldwide. It made it's debut in 1985 and has been a constant favourite in theatre world since then, winning countless awards and launching the careers of many a theatre professional, most notably Alfie Boe who is currently starring in a concert version of this alongside Michael Ball, Matt Lucas and Carrie Hope Fletcher.
It features an incredible 392 costumes during each performance, 31 wigs and has a cast and crew of 89. Its a BIG production.
Adapted from Victor Hugos novel about the French Revolution, Les Miserables follows the life of Jean Valjean - a man convicted of theft for stealing bread to feed his dying nephew. When his sentence has ended he struggles to return to a normal life and with the help of a kindly priest he manages to make some money and make a good life for himself - all the while hiding his own identity from Javert who was his prison officer and is determined to find him and kill him.
It's an entirely gripping story, with a very bleak back drop. This is not your happy go lucky colourful glee type musical.
There's no dialogue in this show. The whole thing is told entirely through music. And its beautiful.
I think I was sat with my mouth open the whole way through just totally in awe of the whole thing. I've never seen a production like it.
It sucks you in from the very start its incredibly powerful.
There's obviously a love story in this, a tragic one of unrequited love between poor girl Eponine and young Marius who loves another.
The way the story unfolds as it goes along and the realisation of who Eponine's love rival is brilliant. I loved every second of this show.
Its an emotional rollercoaster.
There's fight scenes and guns and explosions which are so cleverly executed. The ever changing set is almost a character in itself. There's death and love and family and even though its not the most happy of shows you do have some humour from the Innkeeper and his wife (who had me howling I have to say)
I found myself wiping away tears quite a bit throughout this, not necessarily because of what was happening on stage but just being so compelled by the performances and when you see that with this incredible set its really emotional. The battle scene and seeing all the young men marching with the flag in the air its so moving.
It doesn't feel or look like any show I've ever seen. I thought I was watching a film at times. It's THAT good visually.
Please don't let the title of this put you off. Yes its a hard story to watch unfold and a lot of the characters you warm to over the course of the story don't make it to the end. But its an absolute MUST for everyone. It's just phenomenal. Out of all the shows I've seen over the years, this one has been the hardest to write about. There are no words that can describe just how incredible it is. You must see for yourself!
LES MISERABLES IS AT MAYFLOWER UNTIL 23RD NOVEMBER TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE AT https://www.mayflower.org.uk/