Les Mis Press Release


Contact: SARAH WHITFIELD | sarahkwhitfield@gmail.com



‘Why my Dad’s obsession with the show Les Misérables inspired me to write a book, and how his battle with cancer meant he never got to read it’

People just can’t get enough of ‘Les Mis’ (as the fans like to call it). One of those people was Sarah’s Dad.

When author Sarah Whitfield was a teenager, her Dad would frequently embarrass her with his love of the hit show ‘Les Misérables’, which has spawned popular songs such as ‘Bring Him Home’ and ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ (a hit for Susan Boyle).

But after Sarah’s Dad was diagnosed with late stage cancer, she set out to find out why this musical phenomenon meant so much to him – and to millions of people across the globe.

A book for Les Mis fans by a Les Mis fan (and leading academic)

Whitfield, a musical theatre academic and lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton, interviewed over 350 ‘Les Mis’ fans for the book on why they felt so deeply about the musical phenomenon.

Along the way, she sought to put her finger on the magic ingredient – the timeless story? the epic staging? the rousing music? –  why does it bring people to tears (and to their feet) the world over.

In the middle of some of the hardest moments in family life, this book explores how Boublil and Schonberg’s inspired take on Victor Hugo’s novel becomes more than just a musical.

The book explores how the musical reaches its audiences beyond the footlights, and how the musical provides comfort and inspiration to thousands of people amidst difficult, personal experiences.

Best of all, there’s the hope it offers all of us: that ‘tomorrow comes’.

“We lost my Dad much too soon. Writing the book helped me understand more about who he was, and his love for ‘Les Mis’ taught me so much about him and how to say goodbye. So many people have a deep connection with this musical and I’m so grateful so many people shared their stories with me.” Sarah Whitfield

The book is available for pre-order now on Amazon:



About The Fourth Wall book series


Routledge’s Fourth Wall books are short, accessible accounts of some of modern theatre’s best-loved works.

They allow their authors the opportunity to explore their chosen subject in a way that is absorbing enough to be of use both to lovers of theatre and those who may be studying a play more deeply.

Each book in the series looks at a specific piece, variously exploring its themes, contexts and characteristics an insightful yet very accessible writing style.

Publication Credits

Author: Sarah Whitfield

Series: The Fourth Wall

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781138094383

Length: 72 pages

RRP: £6.99

Publication date: 30/07/2018



▪      Author’s website/biography:

Sarah Whitfield is a musical theatre lecturer and researcher at the University of Wolverhampton. She writes about theatre history, musical theatre, and how musicals connect to people and fan communities. She has five year old twin girls, and is based in the West Midlands.


▪      Twitter handles:

Sarah Whitfield                       @sarahinthepark

Les Misérables UK                  @lesmisofficial

Routledge Books UK              @routledgebooks

Routledge Arts UK                  @Arts_Routledge   

For any further information, or to schedule interviews, please contact Sarah Whitfield at sarahkwhitfield@gmail.com