Les Miserables has topped our 100 Greatest Musicals Poll by several thousand votes. The epic musical retelling of Victor Hugo’s classic novel has music by Claude-Michel Schonberg and French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel translated into English by Herbert Kretzmer and additional lyrics by James Fenton.
The musical which was produced by Cameron Mackintosh in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company was carefully crafted by co-directors John Caird and Trevor Nunn. Few suspected when it opened to less than gushing reviews at London’s Barbican Centre that it would become the blockbuster sensation that it did, but the public warmed to its humanity and story of triumph over adversity. The show transferred to London’s Palace Theatre in 1985 and opened on Broadway in 1987.
Included in the show’s original London cast were Colm Wilkinson, Roger Allam, Patti LuPone, David Burt, Micheal Ball, Frances Ruffelle, Alan Armstrong, Susan Jane Tanner and Rebecca Caine.
Les Miserables won eight 1987 Tony Awards including Best Musical and has continued winning awards around the world where it continues to be performed. In 2012 a major screen adaptation of the musical was made fast becoming one of the highest-grossing musical films of all time.
Les Miserables continues to run in London’s West End at the Queens Theatre where it looks set to run for many years to come.
Congratulations to Cameron Mackintosh, the creators, creatives and the thousands of people who have been involved with Les Miserables throughout its life.
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