Monday, 4 February 2013

Les Miserables. History in the making book. From page to stage.

I was thrilled to get a paperback copy of Les Miserables: History in the making, by Edward Behr in the post this weekend and can't stop reading it. It is jam packed with all that any Les Mis fan would want to know about the Victor Hugo novel and it's re-imagining by the RSC and the Les Mis composers and lyricists. I have been a fan both of the original musical and the recent film and have thoroughly enjoyed learning how the whole story went, as the expression goes, from the page to the stage.

The book explores the immensely popular musical's history from the French production and concept album that so inspired Cameron Mackintosh to back an English language translation back in the mid 1980s. It also covers those years and the growth of the musical to other countries around the world listing over 70 opening nights across the world from the original arena version of Les Miserables at the Palais des Sports on the 20th September 1980 in Paris to the Musichall Theatre Duisberg on the 26th of January 1996.

I was particularly taken with an engraving style picture of Jean Valjean and how close the image looked to the Hugh Jackman portrayal in the years after his parole. This painting in the first edition of Les Miserables made it possible for Colm Wilkinson to keep the beard which Trevor Nunn had initially wanted him to shave off for the musical.

As well as a wealth of written text, there are some fantastic photos of Les Mis from across the world and the whole libretto at the end of the book (illustrated with b/w photos).

"Bring him home!"

"Lovely ladies!!"

If you are as keen to order the book as I was you can order it through Amazon at this link below.

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