This Woman Claims She’s Seen Les Misérables 957 Times

The stage musical, not the film. That'd be crazy.

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Performers and guests sing onstage at the 21st Birthday Performance of 'Les Miserables' at the Queen's Theatre on October 7, 2006 in London, England.

It’s almost unfathomable: Sally Frith of Gloucestershire, U.K. says she’s seen the musical Les Misérables 957 times.

No really, 957 times.

A longtime fan of theater, Frith says her love affair with the popular 28-year-old musical — adapted by French musicians Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg from Victor Hugo’s epic 1862 novel — began in 1988. She been attending performances rather more than routinely for the past 25 years.

(REVIEW: Les Misérables: The YouTube Version)

“I have always been a fan of the theatre, and everybody was raving about Les Misérables when it first came out in 1985,” Frith told the BBC. “Eventually, three years later, I managed to get tickets to see the show, fell in love with it, went to see it again, and it just grew from there.”

Since then, she estimates she’s spent upwards of £50,000 on tickets, or nearly $81,000.

Forget how many entry-level Beemers that might buy and think about the time commitment: Divide 957 trips by 365 days in a year and you’re talking a performance every day for over two-and-a-half years (somewhat less if you occasionally double-down on matinees). And it’s not like Les Miz is a quick hour-and-a-half job. We’re talking roughly three hours to get through your average production. Then there’s the time it takes Frith to travel to London and back to her home in King’s Stanley near the town of Stroud: four hours, round trip.

The perks of ultra-fandom? Frith says she “got to know quite a few cast members over the years,” and that she’s seen 25 different casts in all. Her favorites to date: Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean and Matt Lucas as the villainous innkeeper Thenardier.

(VIDEO: Alfie Boe Sings for TIME)

Will she count viewings of the new film starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe toward her total? She didn’t say, but admitted she can’t wait to see it: “I will have to look at it with a totally different mind-frame because it’s going to be a film, not a stage version, but from what I’ve heard it’s going to be absolutely mind-blowing.”

MORE: Get Ready for the Hatchet Job Award for Best Bad Book Review

11 comments
testclesia123
testclesia123

i would be worried if she was from some other city..but shes from Gloucestershire..quite a norm!!

splash
splash

there must be a psychological disorder names for this behavior

Aldawas
Aldawas

It was a nice story , put some light on the good behavior of the humanity . I wonder why in this article , why you have not mentioned this . Thank you .

Aldawas , Kuwait 

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Just a quick question for Matt Peckham:

I understand that seeing a play 957 times is indeed noteworthy.  However, did this lady provide any evidence to support her claim (i.e. ticket stubs, receipts, Playbills, etc.)?

If she did, than I have no problem with the article.  However, if she didn't, than I must ask:  why did you take her at her word?  What was it that convinced you that her claim was true?

stanleyjenkins
stanleyjenkins

I don't quite understand why we are dividing 957 by 365. Shouldn't the real math be (2013-1988) years * 365 days / 957 shows = x so we know she would've had to have seen 1 show every 7 days for the last 25 years!

mattpeckham
mattpeckham

@stanleyjenkins You could do it that way, too. I was just trying to convey the immensity of the chunk of time, total, out of the past 25.

ManhattanRanch
ManhattanRanch

I hope somebody warns her about Russel Crowe's singing before seeing the movie.  One has to wonder what they were thinking when they hired a guy who simply cannot sing to play a lead in a musical.  Baffling.  


ManhattanRanch
ManhattanRanch

@JacobM.Schlegel You're exactly right! We had the same thought ourselves. Can you imagine Russell Crowe and Pierce Brosnan singing TOGETHER??!! Oh, my!

jacobsaurusrex
jacobsaurusrex like.author.displayName 1 Like

I wonder if every time she watches it she thinks "Just one day more.."

John
John

I remember having to read Les Misérables in high school and it was so deadly dull that I was lucky to finish it in time for the test on it.  I can't imagine that woman watching it as a movie that many times.