Farago had been impressed by the work and asked Mackintosh to produce an English-language version of the show. Initially reluctant, Mackintosh eventually agreed. Mackintosh, in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company , assembled a production team to adapt the French musical for a British audience. The success of the West End musical led to a Broadway production. The three-month engagement sold out, and reviews improved. The original London production ran from October to July , playing over 13, performances and making it the second longest-running musical in the world after The Fantasticks ,  the second longest-running West End show after The Mousetrap ,  and the longest-running musical in the West End followed by The Phantom of the Opera.
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Farago had been impressed by the work and asked Mackintosh to produce an English-language version of the show. Initially reluctant, Mackintosh eventually agreed.
Mackintosh, in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company , assembled a production team to adapt the French musical for a British audience. The success of the West End musical led to a Broadway production.
The three-month engagement sold out, and reviews improved. The original London production ran from October to July , playing over 13, performances and making it the second longest-running musical in the world after The Fantasticks ,  the second longest-running West End show after The Mousetrap ,  and the longest-running musical in the West End followed by The Phantom of the Opera.
At the time of its closing, it was the second-longest running musical in broadway history. Subsequently, numerous tours and international and regional productions have been staged, as well as concert and broadcast productions. Several recordings have also been made. A Broadway revival opened in at the Broadhurst Theatre and closed in , and a second Broadway revival opened in at the Imperial Theatre and closed in September It is usually cropped to a head-and-shoulders portrait, superimposed on the French flag.
By law, Valjean must display a yellow ticket of leave , which identifies him as an ex-convict "On Parole". As a convict, Valjean is shunned wherever he goes and cannot find regular work with decent wages or lodging, but the Bishop of Digne offers him food and shelter.
He is captured by the police, but rather than turn him in, the Bishop lies and tells the police that the silver was a gift, giving Valjean a pair of silver candlesticks in addition. He tears up his yellow ticket, breaking his parole but giving himself a chance to start a new life free from the stigma of his criminal past. Eight years later, in , Valjean has assumed a new identity as Monsieur Madeleine, a wealthy factory owner and mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer.
Fantine is a single mother working in his factory, trying to support her daughter Cosette , who is being raised by an innkeeper and his wife while Fantine labours in the city. Unbeknownst to Valjean, the factory foreman lusts after Fantine, and when she rejects his advances, he takes it out on the other workers, who resent her for it.
One day, a coworker steals a letter about Cosette from Fantine, revealing to the other workers that Fantine has a child. A fight breaks out, and the foreman and other workers use the incident as a pretence to fire Fantine "At the End of the Day".
Desperate for money, she sells her locket and hair, finally becoming a prostitute "Lovely Ladies" , and attracts local sailors. When she fights back against an abusive customer, Bamatabois, Javert, now a police inspector stationed in Montreuil-sur-Mer, arrives to arrest her. But Valjean, passing by the scene, pities Fantine, and when he realises she once worked for him and that she blames him for her misfortune, he is guilt-stricken.
Soon afterwards, Valjean rescues a man, Fauchelevent, who is pinned by a runaway cart "The Runaway Cart". Javert, who has up until now not recognised Valjean, though he has pursued him as a fugitive all these years, witnesses the incident and becomes suspicious, remembering the incredible strength Valjean displayed in the work camp.
But it turns out another man has been arrested, and is about to go to trial for breaking parole. The real Valjean realises that this case of mistaken identity could free him forever, but he is not willing to see an innocent man go to prison in his place and so confesses his identity to the court "Who Am I?
At the hospital, a delirious Fantine dreams of Cosette. Relieved, Fantine succumbs to her illness and dies. Javert arrives to take Valjean back into custody, but Valjean asks Javert for time to fetch Cosette. Javert refuses, insisting that a criminal like Valjean can never change or do good. They struggle, but Valjean overpowers Javert and escapes "The Confrontation". Cosette dreams of a life with a mother where she is not forced to work and is treated lovingly "Castle on a Cloud".
Nine years later, in , Paris is in upheaval because of the impending death of General Lamarque , the only man in the government who shows mercy to the poor.
While the gang bamboozles her father, Cosette runs into Marius, and the pair fall in love at first sight.
Javert makes a vow to the stars — which represent his belief in a just and ordered universe where suffering is a punishment for sin — that he will find Valjean and recapture him "Stars".
The scream alerts Valjean, who believes that the intruder was Javert. Marius decides to stand with his friends, and all anticipate what the dawn will bring "One Day More". The French army arrives at the barricade and demands that the students surrender "At the Barricade—Upon These Stones". Their plan is to spark a general uprising with their act of defiance, hoping that all the people of Paris will side with them and overwhelm the army.
As Marius holds her, she assures him that she feels no pain and reveals her love for him before dying in his arms "A Little Fall of Rain". The students mourn this first loss of life at the barricades and resolve to fight in her name, and they carry her body away while Enjolras attempts to comfort Marius, who is heartbroken over the death of his best friend.
The rebels are suspicious of him at first, but when the army attacks, Valjean saves Enjolras by shooting at a sniper and scaring him off, and they accept him as one of them. In return, he asks Enjolras to be the one to execute the imprisoned Javert, which Enjolras grants.
But as soon as Valjean and Javert are alone, Valjean frees Javert. Valjean says there are no conditions to his release, and holds no ill-will toward Javert for doing his duty "The First Attack". The students settle down for the night and reminisce about the past while also expressing anxiety about the battle to come. Grantaire gets angry and asks the students if they fear to die as Marius wonders if Cosette will remember him if he dies "Drink with Me".
As dawn approaches, Enjolras realises that the people of Paris have not risen up with them, but resolves to fight on in spite of the impossible odds "Dawn of Anguish". The army gives a final warning, but the rebels fight to the last man with Enjolras exhorting "Let others rise to take our place, until the Earth is free!
Everyone at the barricade is killed except Valjean and a gravely wounded Marius, who escape into the sewers "The Final Battle". Javert returns to the barricade, searching for Valjean amongst the bodies, and finds the open sewer grating. Valjean carries Marius through the sewers but collapses in exhaustion.
Valjean begs Javert for one hour to bring Marius to a doctor, and Javert reluctantly agrees. In the wake of the failed revolution, women mourn the deaths of the students "Turning" and Marius, wounded but alive, despairs at the sacrifice of so many lives and at the death of his friends while he survives "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables".
As he wonders who saved his own life, Cosette comforts him, and they reaffirm their blossoming romance. A few months later, Marius and Cosette marry "Wedding Chorale". At a convent, Valjean awaits his death, having nothing left to live for. The spirit of Fantine appears to him and tells him that he has been forgiven and will soon be with God.
Cosette and Marius arrive to find Valjean near death. Valjean gives Cosette a letter confessing his troubled past and the truth about her mother. Reprise ".
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