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Fantastic time at the West End

One day to a new

beginning. Will you raise the

flag of freedom high?

The old songs have been going around in my head since we returned from watching Les Misérables on New Years Day. I’ve loved this musical since it came out in 1985.

I must have been around nine or ten years old. I loved the story of grace as the priest gave the candle sticks to Valjean. Cried bucketload of tears when Fantine died.

I would listen again and again to Éponine long for her secret love as she walked the streets of Paris. “On my own” was the song. I could never sing it to the end without sobbing my heart out.

I have the CD. My family and I saw the movie when it came out. But this was the first time I saw the show on stage. We were able to go because my generous in-laws sent some money to spend on tickets, for which I am grateful.

I felt tingles up my arms as the orchestra struck up that long familiar tune. Was thrilled to see how each scene came to life on stage. Finally I was seeing what I had imagined as a girl all those years ago.

The movie was good, but not as good as the stage production. There was something wonderful about hearing the music performed live and seeing actors capture the attention of an audience as they weaved their magic.

I loved that we could go see it as a family. And appreciated the fact that my son was now old enough to follow the story as well as the music.

We talked about God and grace, living a life of good works and when that tipped over to a sense of judgement. We talked about pride and how that was Javert’s undoing. And how, after all the years of heartache, the musical ended with hope.

Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night
It is 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.

They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord
They will walk behind the plough-share
They will put away the sword
The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

Finale lyrics from Les Misérables

I still get emotional reading the lyrics and hearing the melody in my head. Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise indeed.

When I agreed to come to London to support my husband’s career, I didn’t think we’d get to experience all this. This incredible city is fulfilling long held dreams and giving me memories that I will cherish. For that I am thankful.

For Debbie’s Six Word Saturday and Rebecca’s January Poetry Challenge. (Well, I cheated a bit. They aren’t my words. I organised some famous lines from the musical into a Haiku!)

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January 2022
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