Les Misérables School Edition
Winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 70 million, this musical phenomenon is an epic tale of passion and redemption in the throes of revolution.
Les Misérables School Edition may only be performed by a cast of students aged 18 and under, without exception.
Show Essentials
12
Roles
+ Ensemble
PG13
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Prologue

A chain gang is working in the scorching sun in Toulon, France, in 1815. Javert enters to tell one of the prisoners, Jean Valjean, that his parole is about to begin. Valjean has been in prison for five years for stealing a loaf of bread — and for 14 more years for attempting to escape. Javert reminds him that he will always be marked as a thief by the yellow ticket of leave that he must carry with him. Valjean explains that he only stole the loaf of bread because his sister’s child was near death and his family was starving. Javert warns that he intends to keep his eye on Valjean in the future, waiting for him to break the law again.

Valjean expresses his joy at being free. Although he will never forgive his jailers or forget the wrong done to him, he plans to start a new life. However, he quickly learns that because he is branded as a thief, he cannot make a living or find a place to stay. He discovers that to a paroled man, the outside world is little more than another kind of jail. He sees the law as having cursed his life.

In the town of Digne, a saintly Bishop allows Valjean to stay in his house overnight. The bitter Valjean steals some silver from the Bishop and is questioned by constables. Valjean lies and says the Bishop gave him the silver. The Bishop not only backs up his lie, but he also gives him two silver candlesticks as well, asking that he use the silver to become an honest man. Valjean is overwhelmed by the Bishop’s kindness. He realizes the Bishop has given him a chance to reclaim his soul. He decides to tear up his yellow ticket of leave and begin a new life with a new identity.

Act One

In the town of Montreuil Sur Mer, Jean Valjean runs a factory using his new identity of M. Madeleine. It is eight years later. A group of poor workers at the factory expresses their despair with their barren, impoverished lives. They gossip about the foreman and one of the female workers, Fantine, who has resisted his advances. They grab a letter away from Fantine and learn that she has a child living with innkeepers in another town. She struggles to get her letter back. Valjean appears, now Mayor of Montreuil Sur Mer as well as the owner of the factory, but allows his foreman to handle the matter. The women insist that Fantine be fired because of her loose morals. Although she explains that she is the sole supporter of her child because her lover abandoned her, the foreman fires Fantine. She reflects on how different the world seemed when she first fell in love, before life killed her dreams.

Fantine wanders to the red light district, where she finds herself among sailors and prostitutes. She sells her necklace and her hair, and then she becomes a prostitute to earn money for her daughter. When she refuses to entertain a street idler, Bamatabois, he is so enraged that he lies to Javert, claiming she attacked him. The Mayor (Valjean) comes to Fantine's aid and learns that she is only in her present circumstance because he turned his back on her at his factory.

When Valjean realizes that she and her daughter are innocent victims, he demands that Javert release her. Suddenly, an old man, Fauchelevent, is pinned down by a runaway cart, and The Mayor (Valjean) saves him by lifting the cart. Javert says that he has seen that kind of strength only once before, in a prisoner at Toulon. However, he knows that the Mayor cannot be the individual he is describing because Javert has recently re-arrested that man for a minor crime. In fact, he says Jean Valjean's trial is about to take place.

The real Valjean realizes that he will not be able to live with himself if he does not confess his identity and spare the falsely identified man. He appears at the trial of the accused man and confesses his real identity in front of Javert.

Fantine is taken ill and lies delirious in the hospital. Valjean escapes Javert to come to her bedside. He promises he will protect her daughter, Cosette. Fantine dies, believing that he will keep his promise. As Valjean sits grieving beside her, Javert appears. Valjean begs Javert to allow him to find Cosette and leave her in safety before he is jailed. Javert refuses to trust him. Valjean breaks a chair and threatens Javert with it. Javert speaks of his own history, saying he has risen from a past in the gutter and now lives only for the law. Invoking his promise to Fantine, Valjean overcomes Javert and escapes.

Young Cosette is sweeping and scrubbing at the Thénardiers' inn. She sings of a castle on a cloud where she could lead a life filled with love and free of tears. Her reverie is interrupted by the evil Mme. Thénardier who scolds her, saying that the money her mother sends doesn't pay for her keep. She praises her own daughter, Eponine, and sends Cosette out to the well in the woods for water. Cosette begs not to be sent into the woods in the dark but is ordered to go by Mme. Thénardier.

Tavern guests arrive and settle down for a night of drinking, exchanging tales of the reprehensible ways in which Thénardier made his money in the past. Thénardier tells them that as the "master of the house" he lives by the rule that everything has a price. Mme. Thénardier joins him in this self-mocking assessment of their corrupt lifestyle.

As they finish, Jean Valjean appears with the trembling Cosette. He has found her in the woods and tells the Thénardiers that he has come to take her away. The Thénardiers extract a settlement from him for what they claim are Fantine's debts. Valjean promises Cosette there will be castles in her future.

The scene shifts to the streets of Paris in 1832. Beggars are crying out for help. Gavroche, a young boy, is among them. A group of students led by Enjolras enters and accuse the nation's leaders of ignoring the poor. Gavroche warns that everyone must now watch out for the Thénardier gang. Thénardier has moved his operations to Paris and is preying on the poor in cooperation with underworld figures Brujon, Babet, Claquesous, and Montparnasse. He has enlisted his daughter, Eponine, now a young woman, into his illicit activities. Eponine is in love with Marius, one of Enjolras's student friends. However, Marius does not return her affection. Jean Valjean and Cosette appear. Thénardier's thugs try to rob them. Marius sees Cosette for the first time and falls in love with her. Valjean is recognized by Thénardier. Javert appears to intercede; Valjean flees. Thénardier shares the news of Valjean's identity with Javert. In the absence of a victim, Javert has to let Thénardier go. Javert declares his determination to catch the fugitive Valjean. He will never rest until he does. He leaves, and Gavroche announces that he, not the inspector, really runs the town.

Eponine realizes that the girl with Jean Valjean was Cosette. Seeing Cosette in the beautiful clothes that Valjean has provided for her, Eponine stares at herself with disgust. Marius begs her to help him find Cosette again. Although she is filled with jealousy, Eponine agrees.

The students are meeting at the ABC Cafe to plan an insurrection. Marius comes in, unable to think about anything but Cosette. Enjolras says they must decide whether or not they are willing to die for their beliefs. Gavroche announces the death of General Lamarque, a popular military leader. Enjolras says Lamarque's death will kindle the flame of revolution. The people will be ready to follow the students in their insurrection "when tomorrow comes."

In her home on Rue Plumet, Cosette has a sense that love is very close to her now. Jean Valjean worries about her loneliness because of the fugitive life they must lead. Cosette still does not know why they must always be on the run . Valjean leaves; Eponine brings Marius to Cosette . As he expresses his love for Cosette, Eponine waits outside . She sees her father and his henchmen surrounding the house . It is their intention to rob Valjean . Eponine fears that Marius will think she set him up to be robbed and screams to warn him . Thénardier and his gang run away, and Marius realizes that Eponine has saved him . He tells Cosette that his friend has brought them together and also warned them of this danger . Valjean appears, and Cosette lies, saying she screamed because she saw shadows on the wall . Valjean thinks it was Javert and says they must run away to Calais and then cross the sea .

Lost in their individual thoughts, everyone reflects on the future. Valjean sees himself as being trapped on an endless road, Cosette and Marius feel their newfound love slipping away, and Eponine mourns her unrequited feelings for Marius. Enjolras appears to enlist Marius for the insurrection. Marius decides to join his friends, since Cosette will now be lost to him forever. Javert predicts that the revolution will be stopped at once by the authorities. Thénardier agrees that the students are destined to lose. The students sing of their glorious day to come. Everyone prepares for this fateful "one day more."

Act Two

The students are planning to build their barricade, assessing the strength of their adversaries and hoping that the people will support them. Eponine appears; Marius tries to send her away, fearing for her life. She says his concern shows he does care about her . He asks her to take a message to Cosette.

She gives the letter to Jean Valjean at the house on Rue Plumet. Valjean reads the letter and learns of Marius's feelings for Cosette. In the letter, Marius says goodbye to Cosette in case he dies in battle.

Eponine expresses her feelings of loneliness. She has now alienated her father by protecting Marius and has nowhere to turn. She has nothing but her dreams of a love that can never be returned because she loves Marius "only on my own."

Back at the barricade, the students are told by the army to give up their guns or die. Javert pretends to be on the students' side and encourages them to surrender. However, Gavroche reveals Javert's identity, and the students tie up Javert, planning to shoot him as a traitor after the battle. Eponine returns, much to Marius's dismay. She tells him she has delivered the letter to Valjean. He realizes that she has been wounded trying to return to him with this message. Marius holds her tightly as she dies in his arms. She sings that the "rain can't hurt me now"; he replies, "I will stay with you till you are sleeping and rain will make the flowers grow." Eponine is first on the rebel side to die in battle.

Jean Valjean appears and says he has come to aid the students. They say that another man who offered to join them has proven to be a traitor and point to Javert. Valjean is given a gun, and as the battle begins, he shoots and kills a sniper. Having proven his fidelity to the students' cause, he asks if he can dispense with the spy Javert himself. Enjolras agrees and turns Javert over to Valjean.

Once Javert is in his custody, Valjean releases him. Javert says Valjean is being foolish; so long as they are both alive, he will continue to pursue Valjean. Valjean replies that he doesn't blame Javert for trying to do what he believes is his duty and allows him to escape. The students rest and reflect on their friendship and days gone by. Marius says that he doesn't care if he dies; life without Cosette will be meaningless. Realizing the depth of Marius's devotion to Cosette, Valjean prays for his safety in battle. He offers to die instead and begs God to "bring him home."

Marius says that people are afraid to come to the rebels' aid. The students need the bullets that lie in the street. Marius volunteers to pick them up, but Valjean insists that he will go instead. Little Gavroche is quicker than either of them and scrambles up the barricade. He is instantly killed. The voice on the megaphone again warns the students that since the people of Paris sleep in their beds instead of coming to their aid, they have no chance of winning. The students refuse to surrender, and the army mounts a fierce attack. Only Marius and Valjean survive. Valjean carries the wounded Marius down a manhole into a sewer. Javert returns and searches for Valjean's body. Not finding him among the dead, he concludes that he must have escaped into the sewer.

In the sewers beneath Paris, Thénardier appears with a body over his shoulders. He strips the dead of their valuables and dumps the bodies in the mud of the sewers. Valjean and Marius have collapsed in the sewer, and Thénardier starts to rob them. Then he recognizes Valjean and runs away. Javert finds Valjean. Valjean asks Javert to allow him to take Marius to safety. Then he will return and surrender to Javert. This time, Javert agrees to Valjean's request and says he will be waiting. Javert waits, desperately confused. His enemy has spared his life. He says he cannot live in the debt of a thief. He will spit Valjean's pity back in his face because the law cannot be mocked. He realizes that his own life has no meaning because Valjean has indeed proven that a man can be redeemed and should be forgiven. Doubt destroys Javert, whose world is held together by the force of rigid rules. Valjean has killed him by granting his life. Javert jumps to his death.

The women of Paris mourn the dead students, saying that nothing has changed as the result of their deaths. Marius sings a song of mourning for his dead companions. He begs their forgiveness for the fact that he survived.

At the hospital where he is recovering, Marius tells Cosette that he still doesn't know who saved him at the barricade. They plan to marry; Marius invites Valjean to live with them. Valjean confesses his past to Marius, explaining that Cosette knows nothing about his real identity. He says he must keep running. Marius agrees never to tell Cosette the truth about her adoptive father's past.

On Cosette's wedding day, the Thénardiers try to sell Marius the truth about Cosette's father in exchange for cash. As a result, Marius learns that Jean Valjean is the man who carried him through the sewers to safety. He strikes Thénardier and throws money at him. The Thénardiers celebrate that in spite of everything, they have survived.

Valjean is alone in a room, dying. He is having visions of Fantine. Marius and Cosette burst into his room. Marius tells Cosette that he now knows her father is the one who saved his life. Valjean tells her the truth about her mother. His vision of Fantine is joined by a vision of Eponine. As he dies, Valjean and his visions remind Cosette of the everlasting power of love telling her that "to love another person is to see the face of God."

The entire company sings of "the music of a people who are climbing to the light . For the wretched of the earth, there is a flame that never dies. Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: None

Character Breakdown

Jean Valjean

Jean Valjean is the hero of the show. It is his life journey that we follow. Jean Valjean is supposed to be stronger than other men, and so he should physically appear robust. He should carry himself confidently onstage and come across to the audience as reasaonably mature and paternal. Valjean’s capacity for change is his greatest asset throughout the story. The key to his character is his great humanity and compassion. Jean Valjean is a vocally demanding role, so cast your best male singer and actor.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: G#2
Javert

Javert is the inspector who serves as antagonist to Jean Valjean. Javert is unswerving in his belief that men cannot change for the better. "Once a thief, always a thief" is his mantra. At first glance, Javert might appear to be the villain of the story, but upon closer examination, it is clear that he is not an evil man. He is a dedicated policeman with a profoundly strong sense of duty. Unlike Valjean, Javert's attitudes are rigid and unmovable. He is stern, forbidding, and lacking in compassion. Your Javert should be a talented actor who can convincingly stand up to Jean Valjean. Javert should have a rich baritone voice and be a good singer.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: F#4
Vocal range bottom: F2
Chain Gang

The Chain Gang consists of Jean Valjean’s fellow prisoners. There are five soloists (Convicts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). The overall vocal range of the Convicts is low, and they should be able sing in a rich baritone range if possible.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Eb4
Vocal range bottom: F2
Constables

There are two solo Constables (Constables 1 and 2) in the show. Consider keeping the same actors as Constables throughout the entire show to save a bit on costumes, since period uniforms tend to be expensive to build.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: E3
Farmer

The Farmer has solo lines that are a bit difficult to sing.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Db4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Laborer

You may cast as many Laborers as you like, but only one Laborer has a solo line. This particular solo line is a bit difficult to sing. 

Gender: male
Vocal range top: D4
Vocal range bottom: A#2
Bishop Of Digne

The Bishop is a good man who saves Valjean’s soul through showing compassion. Don’t overlook the importance of this role. The Bishop of Digne’s kindness carefully establishes the premise of the show by literally buying Jean Valjean’s soul for God. This powerful role requires a nice baritone voice and a good actor.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Fantine

Fantine is the beautiful, young girl who, abandoned by her lover, is left to fend for herself and her daughter, Cosette. She is rejected by society and forced through circumstances to sell herself. She is a brave woman defeated by life who clings to her dignity and is sustained by her love for her daughter, sacrificing everything for the young Cosette. The audience witnesses her descent through a series of terrible events leading to poverty, hunger, cold, loneliness, destitution, and death from consumption. Cast a performer with a powerful voice that is more mezzo (or alto) than soprano.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Foreman

The Foreman begins Fantine on her desperate, downward spiral. He should be virile, commanding, and a bit sleazy around the edges.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: D4
Vocal range bottom: D3
Factory Workers

The Factory Workers include the following characters with solo lines: Workers 1 and 2, Woman, Factory Girls 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: E4
Girl 5 (Factory Girl)

Girl 5 (Factory Girl) is the shop girl who fights with Fantine. She is mean, spiteful, and selfish. She also is most likely having an affair with the Foreman and is jealous of his affection for Fantine. Often, Girl 5 will serve as Fantine’s understudy or as a Fantine double.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: F4
Prostitutes

The Docks are a depressing and dangerous place to be, occupied by prostitutes and their customers. Prostitutes 1, 2, 3, and Sick Prostitute have solo lines.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: Db5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Sailors (Sailors 1, 2, 3)

Three sailors begin the docks scene. All three have solos but do not need to be great singers.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Db4
Vocal range bottom: Eb3
Bamatabois

Bamatabois is the customer who taunts Fantine into violence. He is a wealthy, dissolute young man who thinks of himself as a gentleman, even dressing in expensive clothes. He is drunk and in a sadistic mood. He chauvinistically feels it is his right to buy anything, even Fantine.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: D3
Old Woman

The Old Woman is a nice featured role who purchases Fantine’s hair. Her vocal solo is a bit tricky, so cast a strong singer if possible.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: E4
Pimp

The Pimp controls the prostitutes at the docks. He is mean, aggressive, and abusive. The Pimp has a small solo line in “The Docks.”

Gender: male
Vocal range top: C4
Vocal range bottom: Eb3
Onlookers and Bystanders

These characters make up the crowd of people onstage that witness the cart crash. Onlookers 1, 2, 3, and 4 have solo lines.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: G4
Fauchelevant

Fauchelevant is the victim of the cart crash. The role requires little of the actor: a few solo lines and some painful yelps.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Eb4
Vocal range bottom: B3
Judge(s)

The Judge or Judges are non-singing roles. They appear once in a courtroom to preside over a trial against Jean Valjean.

Gender: male
Mistaken Jean Valjean And Family

These characters are also non-singing. Mistaken Jean Valjean is the man who Javert believes to be Jean Valjean.

Gender: any
Nuns

The two Nuns are non-singing and non-speaking roles. They serve to take care of Fantine in her sickness.

Gender: female
Young Cosette

Young Cosette is Fantine’s daughter and the Thénardiers’ ward. She has been forced into child labor. She is underfed, beaten by Madame Thénardier, and bullied by Eponine. Make sure your Young Cosette is small and looks properly pathetic yet warms the audience’s hearts. They should be sympathetic to her plight. It is essential that your Young Cosette be as physically small as possible, especially against Jean Valjean and the Thénardiers. Young Cosette sings “Castle On A Cloud,” so make sure she has a nice voice and can tap into the emotion in the song.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Madame Thénardier

She is married to Thénardier. Together, Madame Thénardier and Thénardier con the world as partners in crime. They were made for each other, and although she complains about him, she loves him dearly. She is coarse and vulgar, unhappy in her existence without knowing why. She is romantic, greedy, manipulative, evil, and larger than life. She is mean and nasty to Little Cosette and able to improvise in nearly any situation. You need an actress with excellent physical comedy skills who is also a good musician with a good sense of rhythm.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: G#3
Thénardier

Thénardier is the true villain of Les Misérables School Edition . He is the embodiment of evil. That said, he should also possess a wicked sense of humor. He delights in cheating, robbing, defrauding, and blackmailing, and relishes every aspect of his schemes with glee. He is tough, greedy, brutal, lowbrow, crafty and yet irresistible. He hates society and blames it and everyone else for all his misfortune. Thénardier is also the opportunist and realist of the show. He is a thief, a liar, a cheat, and steals valuables from the dead with no remorse. He is also the comic relief of the production. However, his comedy is based in reality and shouldn’t be too exaggerated. He is married to Madame Thénardier and is father to Eponine and Gavroche (although he abandoned Gavroche to the streets of Paris). Cast an excellent comedic actor who con portray a nasty edge. Vocally, the role is not incredibly demanding; a character voice is best.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: C2
Young Eponine

Young Eponine is the pampered daughter of the Thénardiers. She does little except taunt Young Cosette. The role requires no singing or speaking. She should be a smaller version of grown Eponine and resemble Eponine in appearance and features.

Gender: female
Gavroche

Gavroche is Thénardier’s son. He is left to fend for himself and lives by his wits in the streets of Paris. His archenemy is Javert, the policeman. Gavroche is brave, witty, and arrogant, with a fantastic, unchanged voice. For comparison, think of a young Artful Dodger. Gavroche is best played by the smallest boy available. Gavroche has a very dramatic death at the barricade. Make sure your Gavroche is a good enough actor to believably die onstage.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Gavroche's Gang

If you have young children (ages 7–9) who’d like to be involved in the show, you may add a gang of kids to follow Gavroche around. Remember that Paris at this time would be full of orphans (due to years of wars and revolutions), and representing these young people onstage is a nice addition. Do not include Gavroche’s Gang in the barricade scenes, as it will negatively impact the dramatic arc of the show, taking away from Gavroche’s death. One member of Gavroche’s Gang could have a solo line if cast as Solo Urchin.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: C4
Eponine

Eponine is the Thénardiers’ daughter. Living hand to mouth, she survives by helping her father in his life of crime. She is a young girl who is streetwise and tough but also sensitive and lonely. This tragic character is hopelessly in love with Marius, knowing that he will never love her. She bravely follows Marius to the barricades in the hope that they will die there together. She sings one of the most famous numbers in the show, “On My Own,” and should be an excellent actress and singer with a contemporary edge to her voice.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Enjolras

Enjolras is the student leader. He is handsome, brave, and daring, although youthful. He combines his revolutionary ideals with strong, charismatic leadership. Victor Hugo described him as “a thinker and a man of action.” On the barricade, he should dominate everyone else physically and vocally. Enjolras is one of the more difficult roles to cast. He should be a natural leader oozing with charisma and have a very strong high baritone or a tenor voice. The role is also difficult to cast because many young actors do not perceive it as a coveted role like Marius or Jean Valjean; remind them that the original Enjolras won a Tony Award® for his performance. Casting a true leader from your organization in this role is one way to ensure the character is believable. Remember, Enjolras must inspire the students to fight and, ultimately, to die for their beliefs. His death at the barricade is one of the dramatic highlights of the show.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Marius

Marius is the romantic hero of the story. He is impulsive, passionate, willful, and headstrong. His moods change according to his circumstances. He is sweet and tender but also capable of great courage and compassion. In Act I, Marius plays Romeo to Cosette’s Juliet. Marius matures after “The Café Song” as a result of his experiences on the barricade. Marius should have a lovely, lyrical voice with a contemporary edge.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Cosette

Cosette is Fantine’s strong-willed, loving daughter. She is an intelligent, inquiring, personable girl; she is not in any sense a sappy, romantic heroine. Once she is adopted by Jean Valjean, Cosette lives a comfortable, if secluded, life. She falls instantly in love with Marius, changing her world and her priorities. The role calls for an excellent singer with a lovely, lyrical soprano voice.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: C6
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Brujon

Montparnasse, Babet, Brujon and Claquesous are members of Thénardier’s gang of thieves. Men played these roles on Broadway, but for the School Edition, you may cast them as a mix of males and females.

Brujon is physically very strong. He has the body of a bear and a pea-sized brain. A genuine gangster, he is stupid and evil.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: C#4
Vocal range bottom: B3
Babet

Montparnasse, Babet, Brujon and Claquesous are members of Thénardier’s gang of thieves. Men played these roles on Broadway, but for the School Edition, you may cast them as a mix of males and females.

Babet is physically frail but lean and cunning.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: E3
Claquesous

Montparnasse, Babet, Brujon and Claquesous are members of Thénardier’s gang of thieves. Men played these roles on Broadway, but for the School Edition, you may cast them as a mix of males and females.

Claquesous is tough, dangerous, and secretive.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: C4
Montparnasse

These are members of Thénardier’s gang of thieves. Men played these roles on Broadway, but for the School Edition, you may cast them as a mix of males and females.

Montparnasse is a teenager who is handsome and dangerous (he kills with a knife). He is well dressed, strongly built, and agile.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: C#4
Vocal range bottom: C#3
Combeferre

Members of the ABC society: Combeferre, Feuilly, Courfeyrac, Joly, Prouvaire, Lesgles, and Grantaire. These characters compose a secret society of students and workers. The letters A, B, and C, as pronounced in French, make the word “abaisse,” which means “the underdog” or “the people below.” The members are drawn from wealthy families and have chosen to fight for freedom, in stark contrast to the poor who have no choice due to their downtrodden circumstance. Additional characters in the ABC Society, besides Enjolras and Marius, include the following:

Combeferre is the philosopher and believer in peace. He is gentle, humane, strong, and brave.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: D4
Vocal range bottom: E3
Feuilly

Members of the ABC society: Combeferre, Feuilly, Courfeyrac, Joly, Prouvaire, Lesgles, and Grantaire. These characters compose a secret society of students and workers. The letters A, B, and C, as pronounced in French, make the word "abaisse," which means "the underdog" or "the people below." The members are drawn from wealthy families and have chosen to fight for freedom, in stark contrast to the poor who have no choice due to their downtrodden circumstance. Additional characters in the ABC Society, besides Enjolras and Marius, include the following:

Feuilly is a worker who is a self-educated orphan. He is an affectionate, warm, and poetic believer in "nationality."

Gender: male
Vocal range top: D4
Vocal range bottom: D3
Courfeyrac

Members of the ABC society: Combeferre, Feuilly, Courfeyrac, Joly, Prouvaire, Lesgles, and Grantaire. These characters compose a secret society of students and workers. The letters A, B, and C, as pronounced in French, make the word "abaisse," which means "the underdog" or "the people below." The members are drawn from wealthy families and have chosen to fight for freedom, in stark contrast to the poor who have no choice due to their downtrodden circumstance. Additional characters in the ABC Society, besides Enjolras and Marius, include the following:

Courfeyrac is a youthful, passionate, and fearless student.

 

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Eb4
Vocal range bottom: E3
Joly

Members of the ABC society: Combeferre, Feuilly, Courfeyrac, Joly, Prouvaire, Lesgles, and Grantaire. These characters compose a secret society of students and workers. The letters A, B, and C, as pronounced in French, make the word "abaisse," which means "the underdog" or "the people below." The members are drawn from wealthy families and have chosen to fight for freedom, in stark contrast to the poor who have no choice due to their downtrodden circumstance. Additional characters in the ABC Society, besides Enjolras and Marius, include the following:

Joly is an eccentric and light-hearted (although sometimes morbid) medical student. His name is derived from the English word “jolly.”

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: D3
Prouvaire

Members of the ABC society: Combeferre, Feuilly, Courfeyrac, Joly, Prouvaire, Lesgles, and Grantaire. These characters compose a secret society of students and workers. The letters A, B, and C, as pronounced in French, make the word "abaisse," which means "the underdog" or "the people below." The members are drawn from wealthy families and have chosen to fight for freedom, in stark contrast to the poor who have no choice due to their downtrodden circumstance. Additional characters in the ABC Society, besides Enjolras and Marius, include the following:

Prouvaire is a kind, soft-spoken, and, at the right moments, strong and masterful poet and student of social studies.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Eb4
Vocal range bottom: D3
Lesgles

Members of the ABC society: Combeferre, Feuilly, Courfeyrac, Joly, Prouvaire, Lesgles, and Grantaire. These characters compose a secret society of students and workers. The letters A, B, and C, as pronounced in French, make the word "abaisse," which means "the underdog" or "the people below." The members are drawn from wealthy families and have chosen to fight for freedom, in stark contrast to the poor who have no choice due to their downtrodden circumstance. Additional characters in the ABC Society, besides Enjolras and Marius, include the following:

Lesgles is a cheerful, laughing-at-life (but unlucky) student. He is a close friend of Joly.

 

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: B3
Grantaire

Members of the ABC society: Combeferre, Feuilly, Courfeyrac, Joly, Prouvaire, Lesgles, and Grantaire. These characters compose a secret society of students and workers. The letters A, B, and C, as pronounced in French, make the word "abaisse," which means "the underdog" or "the people below." The members are drawn from wealthy families and have chosen to fight for freedom, in stark contrast to the poor who have no choice due to their downtrodden circumstance. Additional characters in the ABC Society, besides Enjolras and Marius, include the following:

Grantaire is the opposite of Enjolras. He believes in nothing. Although he admires Enjolras, he loves to mock him. Witty and drunken, Grantaire is happy being with the group, and they put up with him because of his good humor. He also keeps a watchful eye on Gavroche, the mascot of the group, and is the most heartbroken when Gavroche is killed. He is so devastated by Gavroche’s death that Grantaire abandons his cynicism and rushes to die on the barricade.

Gender: male
Revolutionaries

An ensemble of Revolutionaries at the barricade scenes. 

Gender: any
Sentries

In addition to the ensemble of Revolutionaries, the barricade scenes need actors to serve as Sentries 1 and 2. 

Gender: any
Army Officer

The barricade scene needs and actor to play the Army Officer. This actor only needs to be heard from offstage; as he’s never seen onstage, this is an easy role to double cast.

Gender: male
Women

There are also four soloists for working-class Women in Scene 6 (Women 1, 2, 3, and 4) who sing about the events at the barricade.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: Db5
Vocal range bottom: Eb4
Major Domo

Major Domo is a great role for a young person with little performing experience; the role ony requires one spoken line. He does not have a solo singing line.

Gender: male
Wedding Guests

Wedding Guests form a chorus that celebrates the wedding of Marius and Cosette. They do not have any solo singing lines.

Gender: any
Full Song List
Les Misérables School Edition: Prologue
Les Misérables School Edition: At The End Of The Day
Les Misérables School Edition: I Dreamed A Dream
Les Misérables School Edition: The Docks
Les Misérables School Edition: Cart Crash
Les Misérables School Edition: Fantine's Death
Les Misérables School Edition: Little Cosette
Les Misérables School Edition: The InnKeeper's Song
Les Misérables School Edition: The Bargain
Les Misérables School Edition: The Beggars
Les Misérables School Edition: The Robbery
Les Misérables School Edition: Stars
Les Misérables School Edition: The ABC Café
Les Misérables School Edition: The People's Song
Les Misérables School Edition: Rue Plumet
Les Misérables School Edition: A Heart Full Of Love
Les Misérables School Edition: The Attack On Rue Plumet
Les Misérables School Edition: One Day More
Les Misérables School Edition: Building The Barricade
Les Misérables School Edition: Javert At The Barricade
Les Misérables School Edition: The First Attack
Les Misérables School Edition: The Night
Les Misérables School Edition: The Second Attack
Les Misérables School Edition: The Final Battle
Les Misérables School Edition: The Sewers
Les Misérables School Edition: Javert's Suicide
Les Misérables School Edition: The Café Song
Les Misérables School Edition: Marius & Cosette
Les Misérables School Edition: The Wedding
Les Misérables School Edition: Epilogue

Show History

Inspiration

Les Misérables is a musical based on the novel of the same name by French poet and playwright, Victor Hugo. The 1862 novel is considered by many to be one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century.

French songwriter, Alain Boublil, had the inspiration to adapt Hugo's novel into a musical while at a performance of the musical, Oliver!, in London. When the Artful Dodger appeared on stage, the idea of Gavroche narrating the story of Les Misérables came to mind. He pitched the concept to composer, Claude-Michel Schönberg, who then began developing a rough synopsis.

Productions

Les Misérables, a sung-through musical based on the novel of the same name, had its world premiere in September of 1980 at the Palais des Sports in Paris. The production was directed by filmmaker Robert Hossein and ran for over 100 performances.

Following the world premiere run of the original French version, Herbert Kretzmer and James Fenton were given the task of adapting the material into English. This new version, produced by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird, opened on October 8, 1985, at the Barbican Arts Centre in London. The original cast included such notables as Colm Wilkinson, Michael Ball and Patti LuPone.

On December 4, 1985, the world premiere production of the English version transferred to the Palace Theatre in London. It eventually moved once more on April 3, 2004, to the Queen's Theatre. It has become the second longest-running musical in the world and the second longest-running show on the West End.

Les Misérables made its journey "across the pond" in December of 1986. The musical received its U.S. premiere and out-of-town tryout at the Kennedy Center's Opera House in Washington, D.C. It then premiered on Broadway on March 12, 1987, at The Broadway Theatre. In October of 1990, the production moved to the Imperial Theatre, where it subsequently played over 6,500 performances. The original production closed on May 18, 2003, and has become the third longest-running Broadway musical in history.

Only three years later, a limited revival began on November 9, 2006, at the Broadhurst Theatre. This cast included Norm Lewis, Gary Beach and Celia-Keenan Bolger. The production closed on January 6, 2008.

Since its premiere in the 1980s, Les Misrables has also received several significant concert performances, international mountings and national U.S. tours. The original North American tour ran for seventeen years and over 7,000 performances. As of 2012, four different U.S. national tours have been produced.

Cultural Influence

  • The musical has had more concurrent productions (fifteen at one time) than any other musical in history, as confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records.
  • "Britain's Got Talent" winner and pop culture sensation, Susan Boyle, performed Fantine's anthem, "I Dreamed a Dream," to worldwide acclaim in 2009. Almost overnight, the taping of her performance became one of the most popular videos on YouTube and has amassed over 200 million views since.
  • The musical has won over 70 major theatre awards, including an Olivier, a Tony and a Grammy.
  • Les Misérables has been translated into 21 different languages, including Flemish, Estonian and Castillian.
  • A film adaptation of the stage musical, featuring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, was released at Christmas of 2012.
  • Victor Hugo's great classic, Les Misérables, was called "one of the best sellers of the ages." Within 24 hours of publication in 1862, the first Paris edition of 7,000 copies was completely sold out.

  • After Colm Wilkinson sang "Bring Him Home" from Les Misérables for the first time in rehearsal, director Trevor Nunn said, "See? I told you this show is about God." One of the actors responded, "Yes, but you didn't tell us you engaged him to sing it."
  • The following recordings are available in English: the Original London Cast, the Original Broadway Cast, the Complete Symphonic Recording, the Tenth Anniversary London Concert, the Twenty-fifth Anniversary UK Tour Cast and the Twenty-fifth Anniversary London Concert.

Critical Reaction

"Les Misérables has become an unmistakable part of our theatregoing consciousness."
– Talkin' Broadway

"On the most basic level... the show is a marvel of skillful adaptation. The French authors merit an honorary degree in narrative surgery for their abridgment, which loses nothing crucial in the plot, and for the clarity of the storytelling."
– Variety

"One of the reasons for the overwhelming popularity is that the majesty of Hugo's story, adapted here by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, is matched by the majesty of their score. Its melodies are as grandiose as the story, stirring, tuneful and totally capturing the emotion of the moment."
– Associated Press

Connect

Billing

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
Full billing for posters, programs, leaflets etc.
The (Licensee's)
Production of
LES MISERABLES SCHOOL EDITION
Performed entirely by students
 
A musical by ALAIN BOUBLIL and CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHÖNBERG
Based on the novel by VICTOR HUGO
Music by CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHONBERG
Lyrics by HERBERT KRETZMER
 
Original French text by ALAIN BOUBLIL and JEAN-MARC NATEL
Additional material by JAMES FENTON
Adapted by TREVOR NUNN and JOHN CAIRD
 
Original Orchestrations by JOHN CAMERON
New Orchestrations by CHRISTOPHER JAHNKE, STEPHEN METCALFE and STEPHEN BOOKER
 
Originally Produced by CAMERON MACKINTOSH
School Edition specially adapted and licensed by
MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL and CAMERON MACKINTOSH (OVERSEAS) LTD
 
SHORTENED BILLING: You may use the following shortened billing In advertisements of 1/4 page size or less, and online and mobile ads where in each case only the title of the play, performance dates and venue are provided and in outdoor advertising, transit and taxi ads and marquees where no other person is billed, the following "shortened billing" is permissible:
The (Licensee's) Production of
LES MISÉRABLES® SCHOOL EDITION
Performed entirely by students
A musical by ALAIN BOUBLIL and CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHÖNBERG
School Edition specially adapted and licensed by
MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL and CAMERON MACKINTOSH (OVERSEAS) LTD
 
Licensing Guidelines and Provisions:

1. Les Misérables School Edition is available only for performance by High School, Middle School, and Elementary School Students (or students who graduated High School during the current calendar year). This special edition of LES MISÉRABLES was not conceived or developed for performance by adults or college students. If you would like to cast anyone other than a full-time Elementary, Middle or High School student (or recent High School graduate as defined above), you must submit your request in writing to MTI for consideration and may not cast such person(s) unless specifically approved in writing by MTI.

2. Les Misérables School Edition is available only for amateur production. No member of the cast may be a member of an actors' union, such as Actors Equity, SAG, or AGVA, and no member of the cast may be paid a salary, a percentage of ticket sales, a flat fee, or any similar compensation. [Exception to the foregoing: you may cast a member of an actors' union if that young person is a full-time High, Middle, or Elementary School Student who regularly participates in your musical theatre program for no compensation.]

3. You may not tour this production. Each license is issued for a specific venue only.

4. The production may be presented to a total potential audience of no more than 15,000 people, but, in any case, may be presented a maximum of no more than 15 performances, including previews. Any request to a) perform more than 15 performances or b) exceed the 15,000-audience member limit must be submitted to MTI in writing for consideration. You may not extend your run or increase the size of your audience potential unless approved in writing by MTI.

5. All advertising, programs, and press releases must clearly state that Les Misérables School Edition is being performed by students.

6. All advertising must utilize the official Les Misérables School Edition logo provided to you as part of the director's script. This includes any advertising of listing on a ticketing service website.

7. Advertising Restrictions: No advertising on Television or Radio other than school stations and Public Service Announcements (PSA's). No advertising on the internet except on the school or the theatre's website.

8. IF A PROFESSIONAL TOUR IS COMING TO YOUR AREA: [i.e., within 75 miles of your theatre], you must adhere to the following guidelines: For six (6) weeks prior to the first performance of the tour in your area, through and including one (1) week after the final performance of the tour in your area, you must restrict your advertising to the following:
  • Local posters and flyers
  • School newspaper
  • School website
  • School run radio and television stations
  • Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
There shall be no advertising in non-school related newspapers during this period.

Video Warning

If you purchase a separate license to allow non-commercial video recording of this production, you must print the following in your program. ANY VIDEO RECORDING MADE OF THIS PERFORMANCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR PERSONAL, AT-HOME, NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY. THE SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH RECORDING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED UNDER FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW. If you do not purchase the separate license for video recording, you must print the following in your program. The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
DIGITAL PRODUCTION SLIDES1
DIRECTOR'S SCRIPT1
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK30
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 11
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 21
PIANO VOCAL SCORE ACT 11
PIANO VOCAL SCORE ACT 21
PRODUCTION FORMS & TEMPLATES1
STUDY GUIDE1

Production Resources

Resource
FULL SCORE VOL. 1 OF 4
FULL SCORE VOL. 2 OF 4
FULL SCORE VOL. 3 OF 4
FULL SCORE VOL. 4 OF 4
KEYBOARD PATCH SOLUTIONS
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
ORCHEXTRA
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING
REHEARSCORE APP
SCENIC PROJECTIONS-ANIMATED
SCENIC PROJECTIONS-STILL
SOUND EFFECTS RECORDING-DIGITAL
STAGE MANAGER SCRIPT
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND
VIDEO LICENSE

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASSACOUSTIC BASS
CELLO
HORN
HORN 2
KEYBOARD 1
KEYBOARD 2
PERCUSSION"GAVROCHE" DRUM , BELL TREE , BIG CYMBAL , BOSPHORUS CYMBAL , BRAKE DRUM , CHINA CYMBAL , COWBELL , CRACKED SPALSH CYMB., CRASH CYMBAL , CRICKET CLICKER , CROTALES , CYMBAL , FIELD DRUM , FINGER CYMBAL , FLOOR TOM , GARBAGE CAN LID , GLOCKENSPIEL , GRAN CASSA , GRITTY CHINA CYMBAL , LARGE SUS. CYMBAL , MARK TREE , OLD COPPER POT , OLD SPLASH CYMBAL , OLD TIN CUP , PICCOLO SNARE DRUM , RACK TOMS , ROTO TOMS , SMALL CHINA CYMBAL , SMALL RATCHET , SMALL SUS. CYMBAL , SNARE DRUM , SUSPENDED CYMBAL , TAM TAM , TAMBOURINE , TEMPLE BLOCKS , TIMPANI , TOM-TOMS , TRIANGLE , TRINE , VERY LG. SUS. CYMBAL, WOOD BLOCK , XYLOPHONE , 6" SPLASH CYMBAL , 8" SPLASH CYMBAL
REED 1ALTO FLUTE , ALTO RECORDER , FLUTE , PICCOLO
REED 2ENGLISH HORN , OBOE
REED 3Bb CLARINET , BASS CLARINET , Eb CLARINET , TENOR RECORDER
TROMBONEBASS TROMBONE , TENOR TROMBONE , TUBA
TRUMPETFLUGELHORN , PICCOLO TRUMPET , TRUMPET
VIOLA
VIOLIN