Les Mis Review

I was introduced to Les Miserables when i was young and impressionable and although at that age i wouldn’t have fully appreciated the deeply entangled story i could still sing along to the unforgettable songs that are thrown at you one after another. As a child my memory of the show was the final image of the ghostly figures surrounding a sobbing Cosette and Marius. So when i had the opportunity to revisit this show in London England i was once again hooked within the first 5 minutes. The melodic power emitted from the orchestra doesn’t let up for beginning to end. The story of Jean Valjean, a criminal on the run who turns his life around with the help of a forgiving Bishop is full of twists and turns as he staggers through scene to scene meeting wonderfully wild characters that would slot very well into any Dickens novel, Victor Hugo’s characterisations takes on similar qualities.

Valjean is tracked by the never ceasing Javert who’s staunch legality slowly destroys him as his pursuit of Valjean makes him question his entire life’s outlook. A number of fragile characters stumble in and out of the story from the desperate Fantine, to the lonely Eponine, the fatal courage of Enjolras to the money grabbing Villain’s that the Thenardier’sembody. Every single character makes a lasting impression as the story unfolds admists the unsuccessful French Revolution. I defy anyone not to hold there breath as Gavroche jumps over the barricade to collect bullets, or when Eponine arrives with a letter for Marius.

The huge song ‘one day more’ will have the audience on their feet, this is just one of the many songs that a quite honestly brilliant. The musicality of this show has to be one of the factors that it is so popular. With songs like ‘On my own,’ ‘I dreamed a dream’ ‘Empty chairs at empty tables’ ‘bring him home’ and my favourite ‘stars’ you are never disappointed.

Amongst all the death, pain and sacrifice theres a love story as the young Cosette, raised by ValJean after he promised a dying Fantine falls for the dashing Marius, a student who is involved with the revolution plans. The tender moments this aspect brings gives a shadow of hope in a desolate place.

As i sat in the theatre i noticed around me a number of the audience singing along. This show has been running for over 20 years in London’s West End and people attend time and time again. We are asked: “will you join in our crusade?” i think everyone young and old would shout “YES!” to such an offer as this timeless show take you on a journey of pain and hope, good and bad.