Kathryn Davis reviews Les Misérables at Bristol Hippodrome, running 12 July - 6 August 2022.

Can you hear the people sing? Yes, and you also heard then cheer and clap with one of the longest standing ovations I can ever remember at the Bristol Hippodrome on Friday 15 July, as Les Misérables returned to Bristol.  On one of the warmest evenings of the year, the Bristol Hippodrome remained cool enough to be comfortable, presenting one of the world’s favourite musicals.

One Day More. Credit: Matthew Murphy.
Image credit: Matthew Murphy.

The stunning story of redemption, love and second chances set in 19th-Century France, has toured the world during its 35-year history and is back in Bristol until 6 August.  This juggernaut of a musical may be familiar to many, but with new staging, scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, and phenomenal powerhouse performances from all the cast, it is absolutely worth a ticket, whether you are a superfan, have seen the film or are a first-timer.

It would be difficult to pick a standout from the exceptional cast (yes, they are that good), but special mentions to the younger cast members Charlie Hodson Prior (Gavroche) and Rachelle Bonfield Bell (Little Cosette) who stole every scene they were in.

Beggars at the feast. Credit: Danny Kaan
Image credit: Danny Kaan.

You will have heard the songs before, with some more familiar than others, but the sheer power of the collective and individual voices will give you goosepimples. Act One races from 1815 to 1823, following Valjean, Javert, Fantine and Cosette, meeting the students prepared to die for their cause and the Thenardiers providing riotous light relief. Act Two re-joins the students at the barricades as the battle begins.

It will make you laugh; it will make you cry (a lot! Warning – if you are prone to a few tears, take tissues) and you will want to see it again. And yes, we did spot Cameron Mackintosh in the audience!

Les Misérables will be at Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 6 August 2022. Tickets are available here


Les Misérables at Bristol Hippodrome
Les Misérables

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.

The Bristol Hippodrome
Bristol Hippodrome theatre inside

One of the country's top provincial theatres, which proudly continues to stage major West End and Broadway productions.