I WENT as a sceptic, I returned as a fan. I was expecting three hours of middle class twaddle and, instead, got three hours of a musical rollercoaster of romance, murder, revolution, forgiveness and humour, all set to a fantastic musical score and acted and sung by a wonderful cast.

The 25th Anniversary production of the musical based Victor Hugo's novel, includes Gareth Gates as Marius, giving the show a reality TV star. His voice has improved and matured since his 'Pop Idol' stardom and his version of 'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables' was excellent.

However, he was blown away by the outstanding performances of other cast members. John Owen-Jones was amazing as Jean Valjean, his voice was sublime, powerful and full of emotion. Also outstanding was Madalena Alberto as Fantine, her version of 'I Dreamed a Dream' was emotion-laden and brought tears to the eyes.

You find yourself captivated by the story, drawn in by the seamless scene changes and dragged back in time by the talented cast, who all play their part in making this a truly wonderful and memorable performance.

Les Miserables runs until August 7.