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Les Misérables (/leɪ ˌmɪzəˈrɑːb(lə)/; French pronunciation: [le mizeʁabl(ə)]), colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz (/leɪ ˈmɪz/), is a sung-throughLes Misérables (; French pronunciation: [le mizeʁabl(ə)]), colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz (), is a sung-through musical and an adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same name, by Claude-Michel Schönberg (music), Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel (original French lyrics) and Herbert Kretzmer (English lyrics). The original French musical premiered in Paris in 1980 with direction by Robert Hossein. Its English-language adaptation by producer Cameron Mackintosh has been running in London since October 1985, making it the longest-running musical in the West End and the second longest-running musical in the world after the original Off-Broadway run of The Fantasticks. Set in early 19th-century France, Les Misérables is the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant, and his desire for redemption, released in 1815 after serving nineteen years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister's starving child. Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew after a bishop inspires him with a tremendous act of mercy, but a police inspector named Javert refuses to let him escape justice and pursues him for most of the play. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealists attempt to overthrow the government at a street barricade in Paris.