Les Miserables, also known as Les Mis or Les Miz, is the fully sung-through musical based on French writer Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel of the same name which tells the story of the French Revolution. The theatre classic opened on the West End in 1985 with a cast featuring Roger Allam, Patti LuPone, Colm Wilkinson and Michael Ball and then on Broadway in 1987 with many worldwide productions following that. Throughout the various worldwide performances, the lead roles have been taken on by the likes of Keala Settle, Lea Salonga, Nick Jonas, Caissie Levy, Sutton Foster, Carrie Hope Fletcher and many, many more. Countless careers have been kick-started as a result of performing in Les Mis.
The story follows former convict and French peasant Jean Valjean as he seeks redemption. As a result of stealing a loaf of bread, he spent nineteen years in jail, but after his release, he decides to break his parole and begin a quest for a new life. However there is a police inspector, Javert, who has an unswerving belief that people cannot change for good and relentlessly hunts Valjean throughout Paris. Along the way we meet all sorts of characters including Marius and Cosette, the star-crossed lovers, the abandoned working girl Fantine, the streetwise but sensitive Eponine, and Enjolras, the student leader with revolutionary ideals. The story is set during the 19th-century revolutionary period so we see all these stories intertwine as they take part in this major historical event. It’s a tale of political intrigue and romance as the people fight for their right to be heard.
‘Do You Hear The People Sing?’ is the title of one of the most recognisable and principle songs from the show. It’s actually sung twice! Once during Act 1 and then again sung by almost the entire cast at the end of the musical. In addition to this, an instrumental version is played during some of the battle scenes. Also featured on our pin is the French tri-colour cockade (also known as the Revolution Pin). These red, white and blue rosettes have a significant historical and political symbolism and have been associated with the history of France as far back as the French Revolution.
You can find out more about the show and the various worldwide productions at https://www.lesmis.com/