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LES MISÉRABLES A Musical in 2 Acts, a Prologue and 4 Scenes by Alain Boublil and Claude Michel Schönberg, based on the novel by Victor Hugo : Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Music by Claude Michel Schönberg : Original text by Alain Boublil, Jean Marc Natel and James Fenton Palais de Sport, Paris - 17 September, 1980 (107 perfs) Barbican Centre, London - 30 September, 1985 (63 perfs) Transferred to Palace Theatre, London - 4 December, 1985 -still running Broadway Theatre, New York - 12 March, 1987 - still running THE STORY: Prologue - 1815 Digne Jean Valjean, released on parole after 19 years on the chain gang, finds that the yellow ticket-of-leave he must, by law, display condemns him to being an outcast . Only the saintly bishop of Digne treats him kindly and Valjean, embittered by years of hardship, repays him by stealing some silver. Valjean is caught and brought back by police. He is astonished when the Bishop lies to the police to save him. He also gives him two candlesticks. Valjean vows to start his life anew. 1823 Montreuil-sur-Mer Eight years have passed and Valjean, having broken his parole and changed his name to Monsieur Madeleine, has risen to become both a factory owner and Mayor. One of his workers, Fantine, has a secret illegitimate child. When the other women discover this, they demand her dismissal. The foreman, whose advances she has rejected, throws her out. Desperate for money to pay for medicines for her daughter, Fantine sells her locket, her hair and then joins the whores in selling herself. Utterly degraded by her new trade, she gets into a fight with a prospective customer and is about to be taken to prison by Javert when "The Mayor" arrives and demands she be taken to hospital instead. The Mayor then rescues a man pinned to the ground by a runaway cart. Javert is reminded of the abnormal strength of convict 24601, Jean Valjean, a parole-breaker, whom he has been tracking for years but who, he says, has just been recaptured. Valjean, unable to see an innocent man go to prison in his place, confesses to the court that he is, in fact, prisoner 24601. At the hospital, Valjean promises the dying Fantine to find and look after her daughter Cosette. Javert arrives to arrest him but Valjean escapes. 1823 Montfermeil Cosette has been lodged for five years with the Thénardiers who run an inn, horribly abusing the little girl whom they use as a skivvy while indulging their own daughter, Eponine. Valjean finds Cosette fetching water in the dark. He pays the Thénardiers to let him take Cosette away and he takes her to Paris. But, Javert is still on his trail .... 1832 Paris Nine years later there is great unrest in the city because of the likely demise of the popular leader, Général Lemarque, the only man left in the government who shows any feeling for the poor. The urchin Gavroche us in his element mixing with the whores and beggars of the capital. Among the street gangs is one led by Thénardier and his wife, which sets upon Valjean and Cosette. They are rescued by Javert who does not recognise Valjean until after he has made good his escape. The Thénardier's daughter Eponine, who is secretly in love with the student Marius, reluctantly agrees to help him find Cosette with whom he has fallen in love. At a political meeting in a small café, a group of idealistic students prepare for the revolution they are sure will erupt on the death of Général Lemarque. When Gavroche brings the news of the General's death, the