IT is the hottest ticket in town.

And that is a huge compliment when there are so many great shows currently playing at the city's theatres.

Les Mis (as it is affectionately known) is a musical drama that is timeless and one that will always appeal to old and young alike.

Victor Hugo's 19th century masterpiece has been made into various hit and miss films and TV adaptations.

The stage interpretations - originating 35 years ago - continue to have universal appeal.

The songs are from the beautiful to the rousing, the jaunty to the inspirational and now have household name status: Bring Him Home, Stars, I Dreamed a Dream and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables are just a few of the classics.

Here each composition carries the narrative of a 17-year period in a Paris of revolutionary turmoil.

The three-hour stage production also has some comedic touches that the film versions tend to ignore becoming top sombre in the process.

Thénardier (Martin Ball) and his equally grotesque wife (Sophie Louise-Dann) are the personification of a corrupt Parisienne society.

Their appearances - notably the music hall-styled Master of the House is reminiscent of Lionel Bart's Oliver!

Les Mis has so many other levels to soak in.

Love, loyalty, revenge and political and social unrest.

The main thread sees a one-time chain gang prisoner Valjean turned honourable mayor relentlessly pursued by the rule-book-loving police chief Javert.

These pulse-inducing parts have been played by many global stars.

They are complex people but very real, flawed individuals.

This tour has two astonishing creative talents in the roles.

Killian Donnelly (Valjean) and Nic Greenshields (Javert) play the two leads who fight a 17-year, ongoing battle - yet they have an underlying almost supernatural and tragic respect for each other.

Valjean is a man seeking redemption while unfocused Javert cannot see the forest for the trees.

Katie Hall as Fantine, Harry Apps as Marius and Bronwen Hanson's Cosette all contribute to a faultless production which grips the audience from powerful prologue to the heart-pounding finale with many stunning special effects.

Javert's demise using a combination of state-of the-art theatrical ingenuity is a dramatic awesome highlight.

This is one magnificent, vibrant version where standing ovations - if you are lucky to get a hot ticket - are compulsory.

Five stars


Until October 26

Tickets from 0844 871 3017.