London’s longest running musical, an epic classic
In October 2010 Cameron Mackintosh's legendary production of Boublil and Schonberg's Les Misérables celebrated its 25th Anniversary in London and is now the world's longest running musical.
The show began its incredible journey after theatre impresario Cameron Mackintosh heard a recording of the original French adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel which had flopped dramatically in Paris in 1981.
Mackintosh saw potential and with some brand new lyrics from Herbert Kretzmer added to the powerful original score by Alan Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, Les Misérables made its London debut at the Barbican in September 1985, moving to the West End’s Palace Theatre three months later where it played for 18 years before its transfer to the Queens Theatre in 2004, where it remains.
The early reviews of Les Misérables were mixed, with many critics complaining about its length, its heavy going content and that a great piece of French literature had been forced into a musical. However, the strength of the story and the power of the performances given by the Royal Shakespeare Company meant that word spread and Les Misérables was an enormous success. Possibly due to the lukewarm reception the show received on its inception, Les Misérables was not showered with honours although the Broadway production won eight Tony Awards when it opened in 1987.
The show’s international success has been constant ever since, with productions having played in 42 countries and translated into 21 different languages. Despite uneasy beginnings, this powerful story of peace and conflict, love and hate has deservedly stood the test of time and continues to thrill audiences night after night!
Les Miserables Tickets