Thursday, 8 October 2020

les mis

Formally opening at London’s Barbican Centre on this evening in 1985 after a week of preview performances to mixed critical reception, the stage musical collaboration of Victor Hugo’s Les Misรฉrables from Claude-Michel Schรถnberg, Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel—translated by Herbert Kretzmer is one of the West End’s and the world’s longest-running performance—in good company with Cats (previously) which coincidentally saw its Broadway premiere on the same day three years prior. Following the storyline of Hugo’s 1862 novel, informed and inspired by the Artful Dodger and company of street urchins’ song and dance routine in Oliver! (Twist), doggedly determined police inspector Javert (relatedly) pursues Jean Valjean for breaking parole (sentenced and having served nineteen years hard-labour for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s staving baby) and are carried away with a cast of characters to a Paris on the brink of revolt and revolution.