The film won an impressive three Oscars, three Golden Globes and four BAFTAS, but you know what? We like this version better. Fast-paced and powerfully delivered, Cameron Mackintosh's production captivates from beginning to end, with goosebump-inducing performances and a spectacular set.
We leave the Les Mis premiere with a message for Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe: they've been trumped. Musical theatre stalwarts Simon Gleeson and Hayden Tee bring gravitas to the roles of Jean Valjean and Javert, their rich voices reverberating around the Capitol Theatre, leaving the audience hanging on every word.
The entire cast has jaw-dropping voices and there are no weak links - Patrice Tipoki delivers a heart-wrenching 'I Dreamed a Dream' as Fantine, and WAAPA graduate and one-to-watch Kerrie Anne Greenland takes our breath away as Eponine.
The only thing at risk of outshining these actors is the set. Designed by Matt Kinley and inspired by Victor Hugo's paintings, it uses video projections to create a sense of depth, extending the scene beyond the stage to the cobblestoned alleyways of 19th-century France. You may have seen Les Mis before, but never like this.
The new set is enhanced by an updated score, lighting and sound effects that combine to create a rousing and intense performance. The entire production has a modern edge, from the clever choreography to the dynamic delivery.
Victor Hugo would be proud.
Les Miserables is playing now at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney. Tickets are on sale at lesmis.com.