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NOTRE DAME DE PARIS A musical based on the novel by Victor Hugo Book & Lyrics: Luc Plamondon: Music by Richard Cocciante: English lyrics by Will Jennings Director Gilles Maheu Decor Christian Ratz Costumes Fred Sathal Lighting Alain Lortie Sound Manu Guiot Choreography Martino Muller Musical arrangements Richard Cocciante; Jannick Top; Serge Perathoner Palais de Congrès, Paris - October 1998 Dominion Theatre, London - 23 May, 2000 - Presented by Michael White (575 performances) SYNOPSIS This sung-through musical is based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel of the same name. The poet Gringoire takes us through the events surrounding the Feast of Fools in 1482, and the hunchback Quasimodo’s ill-fated love for the gypsy, Esmeralda. She attracts more than just his attention, with Archdeacon Frollo and engaged soldier Phoebus both setting their sights on her. Despite an initially frosty encounter, it seems that the dashing Captain of the Royal Archers is the one who will win the day. Alongside this, unrest is being whipped up by the authorities as they try to stop the numbers of immigrants and asylum seekers from rising, leading to numbers swelling in the ‘Court of Miracles’ just outside the city walls. STORY Act I The story is set in Paris in the year 1482. The poet Gringoire, who throughout the story acts not only as a participant but also as a sort of commentator, enters to set the scene for the story; he relates how Man has written his history in the building of the cathedrals (“Le temps des cathédrales”). The homeless and refugees, led by Clopin, swarm before the entrance to the Cathedral of Notre Dame begging for help and sanctuary (“Les sans-papiers”). Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame, orders Phoebus, the Captain of the Royal Archers, to have his men disperse the crowd (“Intervention de Frollo”). As his men are driving off the refugees, Phoebus catches sight of the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda (in later productions, the scene changes to have him see her while she is dancing before Notre Dame) and is entranced by her. Esmeralda tells him about herself, her life as a gypsy, and her dreams (“Bohémienne”). Instead of arresting her, Phoebus leaves her alone. Clopin, who has watched over Esmeralda since she was eight years old after the death of her parents, tells her that she is no longer a child and that she has reached the age where she will discover love (“Esmeralda tu sais”). He warns her to be extremely careful, since not all men are to be trusted. In the next number, the audience is introduced to the nobly born and beautiful Fleur-de-Lys, to whom Phoebus is engaged to be married. Fleur-de-Lys’s love for Phoebus is childish and irrational, like that of Juliet for Romeo (“Ces diamants-là”). Now begins the wild and coloured Feast of Fools, presided over by Gringoire (“La fête des fous”), the climax of which is the choosing of the King of Fools from among the group of people who can make the ugliest face; the King will be crowned by Esmeralda. Hiding in the shadows is a monstrous figure who is dragged