THINK of a musical and you picture brightly-coloured costumes, upbeat songs and lots of jolly dancing.

Les Miserables has none of those things, yet it is one of the most popular and enduring shows of all time.

Set in France in the 1800s, the story is based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo, and follows the life of former prisoner Jean Valjean as he continually evades recapture by the dogged police chief Javert while also bringing up Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of tragic Fantine, who dies after selling her hair and turning to prostitution in a desperate bid to support her daughter.

The tale unfolds against a backdrop of political unrest, resulting in yet more deaths among a group of revolutionary students.

Given the huge following it has, and the number of iconic musical numbers the show has produced, the level of expectation was pretty high.

These songs are, without doubt, some of the most demanding in musical theatre, and each was outstanding in its performance.

Katie Hall as Fantine displayed pure emotion in I Dreamed A Dream, Tegan Bannister was equally believable in On My Own, as the lovestruck Eponine, while Do You Hear The People Sing was wonderfully rousing.

Killian Donnelly was outstanding as Valjean and you could have heard a pin drop during his absolutely beautiful rendition of Bring Him Home.

Martin Ball and Sophie-Louise Dann were brilliantly comical as the Thenardiers in Master of the House.

This is two-and-a-half hours of musical theatre perfection.