Les Miserables Synopsis;
ACT ONE- 1815. After spending 19 years on a chain gang, Jean Valjean finds that the ticket of leave he must display will condemn him to be an outcast. Only the Bishop of Digne treats him with kindness and Valjean, bitter brought on by years of hardship, repays him by stealing some silver. Valjean is caught and brought back by the police but is astonished as the Bishop lies to the police to protect him. Jean Valjean decides to start his life anew.
1823- Eight years have now passed and Jean Valjean, having broken his parole and changed his name to Monsieur Madeleine, has become a successful factory owner and Mayor. One of his workers at the factory, Fantine, has a secret illegitimate child. When the other women workers discover this, they demand her dismissal.
In desperation to get money to pay for medicine for her daughter, Fantine sells her locket, her hair, and then becomes a whore selling herself. Now 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 instead. When the Mayor then rescues a man pinned beneath a cart, Javert is reminded of the phenomenal strength of convict 24601 Jean Valjean, who, he says, has just been recaptured. Valjean, unable to see an innocent man go to prison then confesses that he is indeed prisoner 24601. At the hospital, Valjean promises the dying Fantine to find and look after her daughter Cosette. When Javert arrives to arrest him, Valjean escapes.
ACT TWO- The students prepare to build a barricade. Marius, noticing that Éponine has joined the insurrection, sends her away with a letter to Cosette, which is intercepted by Jean Valjean. Éponine decides to rejoin her love at the barricade.
The barricade is built and the revolutionaries defy an army warning them to give up or die. Javert is exposed as a police spy. When trying to return to the barricade, Éponine is killed and when Valjean arrives at the barricade in search of Marius, he is given the chance to kill Javert but instead decides to let him go. The students settle down for a night on the barricade and, in the dead of the night, Jean Valjean prays to God to save Marius. The next day the rebels are all killed.
Valjean escapes into the sewers taking the unconscious Marius with him. After meeting Thénardier, who is robbing the corpses of all the rebels, he comes across Javert once more. He pleads for a little time to deliver the young man to hospital. Javert lets Valjean go and after seeing his usually unbending principles of justice having been shattered by Valjean's own mercy, he takes his own life
Completely unaware of the identity of his rescuer, Marius recovers in the care of Cosette. Jean Valjean confesses the truth of his past to Marius and insists he must go away.
At Cosette and Marius's wedding, the Thénardiers try to blackmail Marius. Thénardier accuses Cosette's ‘father' of being 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 realises that it was Jean Valjean who rescued him that night. He and Cosette go to Valjean where Cosette learns for the first time of her own past before the old man dies.
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