Tickets are now on sale for Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage, a world-first exhibition and the biggest to ever be staged at the State Library of Victoria.

Exclusive to Melbourne, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey from the 19th-century Paris of Victor Hugo’s novel – Les Misérables – to today’s blockbuster musical.

Featuring rare items from the collections of the Musée Rodin, Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Maison de Victor Hugo, Cameron Mackintosh Archive and others, the exhibition will cover a history of more than 200 years to tell the Les Misérables story from page to stage.

CEO and State Librarian, Sue Roberts, says the exhibition will combine traditional elements with interactive displays to give visitors a unique and immersive experience.

‘We will have a gallery that explores the life of Victor Hugo, the Paris of his day and the writing of his masterpiece and its many adaptations. There will also be an entire gallery dedicated to the musical with singing, an orchestra pit and even costumes from the production so visitors can dress up and take centre stage. It will be a really fun experience and people of all ages can get involved.’

Roberts says a partnership with leading British theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh has made the dedicated gallery possible and brings another dimension to the exhibition that will be of huge interest to fans of the book, musical and film.

‘This partnership means that for the first time fans will get to see original Les Misérables scripts, scores, costumes, set designs, posters, photographs and film. It will take them backstage and into the heart of this extraordinary production.’

Recognising the partnership Cameron Mackintosh said:

‘I am delighted to partner with the State Library of Victoria as it brings together a world-first exhibition that showcases the life of Victor Hugo, featuring his literary masterpiece Les Misérables.

‘For the first time items from our archive will be on display giving fans the opportunity to witness iconic moments from my production of Boublil and Schönberg’s phenomenal musical adaption of Hugo’s great novel since its sensational debut over 28 years ago. This is an exciting international exhibition that I’m sure you will not want to miss.’

Also featured in the exhibition will be original drawings and watercolours by Victor Hugo himself; a collection of rare historic photographs by prominent French photographer, Charles Marville, gifted to the State Library by the French government in 1887; original scripts, scores, designs and posters from the 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company production; and original costumes and designs from the cinematic portrayals of Les Misérables – including the 2012 film starring Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe  and Hugh Jackman.

The library has been working with a number of major institutions in France to secure literary treasures that have never left Europe. These will be announced closer to the exhibition.

A program of events and an education program for schools will complement the exhibition exploring themes of history, politics, French language and culture, literature and theatre, and connecting these with the curriculum.

The exhibition coincides with the Australian premiere of Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Les Misérables at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, in June 2014. Les Misérables has been seen by over 65 million people worldwide in 42 countries and 22 languages, and is one of the most popular musicals of all time.

Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage will be on display at the State Library of Victoria from 18 July until 9 November 2014.

Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek

  • Adult –$15
  • Concession – $12
  • Child (3-16) – $12
  • Family (two adults + 3 children) – $42
  • Group – $11 per person, min 10 people, +1 complimentary ticket for groups over 20
  • School group – $9 per student, minimum 10 people, +1 complimentary

Note: Ticket prices include GST and booking fees. Transaction fee applies.

For more information and exhibition updates go to


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