Musical Theatre Dunedin Presents Les Miserables - May 2020, Regent Theatre


Not since 2001 has Les Miserables been staged in Dunedin on the scale of this brand new, re-imagined production!...

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of adversity, broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. This epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history.

Featuring one of the greatest scores of all time played live by a 16 piece orchestra, this brand new production features all the beloved songs including I Dreamed A Dream, On My Own, Stars, Bring Him Home, One Day More, Do You Hear the People Sing and many more!

It has been seen in 44 countries and translated into 22 languages around the globe. Les Misérables is still the world’s most popular musical, breaking box office records everywhere it plays.

The 2015 film adaptation of Les Misérables introduced the musical to a new generation of audiences who will now be able to see the stage production live, here in Dunedin.


The epic tale of broken dreams, passion and redemption set against a nation in the throes of revolution.

Winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 70 million people worldwide, Les Misérables is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. This true modern classic is based on Victor Hugo’s novel and features one of the most memorable scores of all time.

In nineteenth century France, Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a lifelong struggle for redemption relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert.

Epic, grand and uplifting, Les Misérables packs an emotional wallop that has thrilled audiences all over the world. This pop opera features a cast of exceptional singers and overflows with melodies.

A spectacle on Broadway, the West End and now Dunedin, Les Misérables is a powerful affirmation of the human spirit that has become a popular masterpiece.


Critical reviews for Les Misérables were initially negative but public opinion differed: the box office received record orders. The three-month engagement sold out, and reviews improved. The original London production ran from October 1985 to July 2019, playing over 13,000 performances making it the longest running musical on the West End and the second longest-running musical of all time.

The original production won only one Olivier Award for Patti Lapone and her portrayal of Fantine, while recent West End casts in 2012 and 2014 have won the Olivier Audience Award for Most Popular Show.

Les Misérables moved across the pond to America in 1987 and picked up 8 Tonys during award season for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by a Featured Actor, Best Performance by a Featured Actress, Best Direction, Best Scene and Best Lighting Design.

The film adaptation in 2012 starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe won 3 Academy Awards (Best Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway, Make Up and Hair and Sound Mixing), it also won 3 Golden Globes and 4 BAFTA Awards.


Act I

1815, Digne

After 19 years on the chain gang, Jean Valjean finds that the ticket of leave he must display, condemns him to be an outcast. Only the Bishop of Digne treats him kindly. However, Valjean, embittered by years of hardship, repays the bishop by stealing the precious silver. Valjean is caught and brought back by the police and is astonished when the Bishop lies to the police to save him. Valjean decides 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 become a factory owner and Mayor of the town. One of his workers, Fantine, has a secret illegitimate child. When the other women discover this, they demand her dismissal. Desperate for money to pay for medicines for her daughter, Fantine sells her locket, her hair, her teeth, and then falls into the depths of despair by selling herself. Utterly degraded, 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. The Mayor then rescues Fauchelevant who is pinned beneath an overturned cart. Javert is reminded of the abnormal strength of the convict Jean Valjean, who, he says, has just been recaptured. Valjean, unable to see an innocent man go to prison, confesses that he is prisoner 24601. At the hospital, Valjean promises the dying Fantine to find and look after her daughter Cosette. Immediately after Fantine's death, Javert arrives to arrest Valjean who narrowly escapes.

1823, Montfermeil

Cosette has been lodging with the Thénardiers, who horribly abuse her. Thénardier's daughter, Éponine partakes in Cosette's maltreatment by using her as a scapegoat and personal slave. Valjean arrives to pay the Thénardiers to let him take Cosette away as he had promised Fantine.

1832, Paris

Nine years later, there is unrest in the city because of the likely demise of the popular leader General Lamarque, the only man left in the government who shows any feeling for the poor. A streetgang led by Thénardier, his wife and Éponine sets up to rob Jean Valjean and Cosette. Luckily Javert, arrives on the scene and he puts a stop to the theivery , Thénardier  informs the inspector that the mysterious man is none other than the fugitive Jean Valjean. When asked by the student Marius, Éponine, who is secretly in love him, reluctantly agrees to help him find Cosette, with whom he has fallen in love.

As news of General Lamarque’s death circulates in the city, a group of politically-minded students stream out into the streets to whip up support for a revolution. Cosette is consumed by thoughts of Marius, with whom she has fallen in love. Éponine brings Marius to Cosette and then prevents an attempt by her father’s gang to rob Valjean’s house. Valjean, convinced it was Javert lurking outside his house, tells Cosette they must prepare to flee the country.

Act II

The students prepare to build the barricade. Marius, noticing that Éponine has joined the insurrection, sends her away with a letter to Cosette, which is intercepted by Valjean. Éponine decides to rejoin her love at the barricade.

The barricade is built and the revolutionaries defy an army warning to give up or die. Javert is exposed as a police spy. In trying to return to the barricade, Éponine is killed.

Valjean arrives at the barricade in search of Marius. He is given the chance to kill Javert but instead lets him go. The students settle down for a night on the barricade and, in the quiet of the night, Valjean prays to God to save Marius. The next day the rebels are all killed.

Valjean escapes into the sewers with the unconscious Marius. After meeting Thénardier, who is robbing the corpses of the rebels, he comes across Javert once more. He pleads for time to deliver the young man to hospital. Javert lets Valjean go and, his unbending principles of justice having been shattered by Valjean’s own mercy, he kills himself.

Unaware of the identity of his rescuer, Marius recovers in Cosette’s care. Valjean confesses the truth of his past to Marius and insists he must go away.

At Marius and Cosette’s wedding, the Thénardiers try to blackmail Marius. Thénardier says Cosette’s ‘father’ is a murderer and as proof produces a ring, which he stole from the corpse the night the barricade fell. It is Marius’s own ring and he realizes it was Valjean who rescued him that night. He and Cosette go to Valjean, where Cosette learns for the first time of her own history before the Valjean dies.