Les Misérables, known to many as Les Mis, is a sung-through musical play based on the novel of the same name by French poet and playwright Victor Hugo. Set in early 19th-century France, it is the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant, and his never ending quest for redemption after serving 20 years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for starving relatives. Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew after a kindly Bishop inspires him to, but he is relentlessly tracked down by a police inspector named Javert. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters he becomes entangled with get swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealist's make their last stand at a street barricade.
It continues to run in the West End as of late 2012, and has been running continuously there since October, 1985. It is the second longest-running musical in the world and the third longest-running show in Broadway history. It is the longest-running musical in the West End followed by The Phantom of the Opera. In 2010, it played its ten-thousandth performance in London and the production continues to run, as of 2012.
The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. A film version is set for release December 2012 starring Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.