With stomachs full of crappy Chinese food, we anxiously shuffled into the Queen’s Theatre. The smell of popcorn tempted us, as our bags were checked by security. The ushers ripped our tickets and we were escorted to our seats. The wooden walls were stained brown, and the seats were bright red; a traditional theatre set-up. We were on the top balcony, giving us a better viewing position. Projected on the screen hanging above the stage was the iconic, blue-grey picture of the ragged, impoverished girl. All of a sudden the drums boomed, sounding like gun-shots, and the orchestra played with vigour and intensity. The lights dimmed, and ‘Les Mis’ began.
Throughout the entire play, the audience was captivated. They laughed, gasped, jumped and cried along with the characters. They sang “Master of the House” in jollity with Monsieur Thénardier, as he jumped around on tables, and creatively stole money from his customers. They sobbed as Jean Valjean passionately sang “Bring Him Home,” praying for the life of one young soldier, Marius, who was in love with his daughter. They smiled faintly through their tears as Valjean asked for death, seeing his late love Fantine while in hysterics. They gasped as shots rang out, the theatre shaking. The actors engaged with the audience, communicating their emotions and stories through alluring melodies and exaggerated facial expressions. When the play ended, the applause was as thunderous as the gunshots. Everyone was on their feet as the actors bowed, soaking up the well-deserved praise. The experience was spell-binding, and resonated with the audience for hours afterwards.