Based on elements of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables this musical is one of the most successful around the world. Les Miserables opened at the Palace Theatre on 4 December 1985, following a sell-out season at the Barbican. Jean Valjean, released on parole after 19 years on the chain gang, finds that the 'ticket-of-leave' he must display by law, condemns him to be an outcast. Only the saintly Bishop of Digne treats him kindly and Valjean, embittered by years of hardship, repays him by stealing some silver. Valjean is caught and brought back by the police, and is astonished when the Bishop lies to save him, also giving him two precious candlesticks. Valjean decides to start his life anew. Things go well but 8 years later, an encounter with a face from the past threatens everything he now holds dear..