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 Victor Hugo actually owned a pet cat named Gavroche.

The longest sentence ever written is in Les Miserables. 
Depending on the translation, it is about 800 words.


When Victor Hugo published the book, he was on vacation. 
  After not hearing anything for a number of days, Hugo sent a telegram to the publisher
 to ask how the book was doing.   
This is the entire telegram he sent:


And the entire reply from the publisher was:


QUESTION: What does Fantine sell in the book
 that she does not sell in the play?

A. A pint of blood.
B. Her front teeth
      C. Her wedding dress.
          D. The Brooklyn Bridge

ANSWER: In the book, Fantine also sells some of her teeth. (Ouch!)
Fortunately, the writers of the play decided to spare the audience that bit
of information.

Can you imagine the death of Fantine in the play without teeth?

QUESTION:   In the book, what happened to the body of Gavroche?
        A.  Valjean carried it through the sewers.
B.  Thenardier arranged for a burial
 C.  Javert ordered it left in the street
             D.  Marius dragged it back to the barricade.


ANSWER:   Marius felt like he had to repay Thenardier for saving his father's life.  Since he could not save the life of Thenardier's son, the best he could do was save the body.
Great Gavroche Story


Thanks to Jan for the picture!


Bobbie Chatt, UK tour ensemble member and Cosette/Eponine understudy, also went on as Gavroche once. She was 24 years old at the time and 5'4". ("I must be the oldest and tallest Gavroche ever.") Here's her story:

We had two kids playing the role in Edinburgh and one of them had complained to his mum that he felt sick before she took him to do the show that night. But he was one of those children who was sickly quite a bit and always said he felt ill so she didn't pay all that much attention to him and sent him in. He didn't mention it when he got to the show and the performance began as usual. Then after Stars there was a bit of a commotion and I heard someone say that the kid was ill. Then someone else said to me 'I think they are going to ask you to do it' and I laughed and carried on reading my book.

Then ... I saw two pairs of legs approaching me, which belonged to the company manager and director and they were both smiling at me with a sort of terror in their eyes! I knew immediately what they were going to say ... which was pretty scary because I wasn't a cover; we don't have Gavroche covers as there are always two or more kids playing the role. But the other Gavroche was in Glasgow for the weekend and there was no way he could have got there.

Well, the decision had to be instantaneous because I just had Red and Black to change and get on. Everyone was running around like mad things - wardrobe and wigs. I just stood there while Poppy [Tierney] covered me in dirt and everyone else threw pieces of costume all over me. The director showed me what to do between the scenes. I knew the words and more or less knew a few of the scenes because I really like kids and used to look after the new Gavroches on stage. So my urchin plot often required me to be with the Gavroche which really helped. Michael [Sands] who played Grantaire pushed me around a bit as well!!

The hardest bits were the ones I was unable to see like the death. The last time I watched that was before I was in the show as when he is dying we are on the other side of the barricade and I can't see a thing! The stage crew set up the scene for me in the interval so I had a chance to have a quick go but they were unable to place the dummies on stage as it would have taken too long. So Shaun [Kerrison] (the director) was saying 'right there's a dead body here ... here and here ..! I expected everyone to laugh at me during 'Liar! Good evening dear inspector' but the cast were all brilliant and no one corpsed (which in our case is very rare!) They were all 100% supportive and I wouldn't have blamed them for laughing because I am sure I was a bit of a sight!

Considering the circumstances it went pretty well and I had an absolute ball! I loved bowing with Enjolras and getting shot! In the interval they made an announcement that I was playing the role but due to my name I reckon the audience probably thought I was a boy anyway!! I had my cap pulled so far down and my face covered in so much dirt I looked like a chimney sweep - would have been at home in Mary Poppins ...

Ironically I saw a friend of mine a little while later who was the MD on the first leg of the tour and he said that the week before it happened the director and him were discussing what on earth they would do in that situation and the MD said 'put Bobbie on'. When I heard that I thought it must have been fate or something.

They still couldn't get hold of the other Gavroche the next day and when I woke up there was a message on my answerphone from the company manager asking me if I could do the matinee and evening shows as Gavroche. They had left a message on the other boy's answerphone too and luckily they picked up their messages and rushed down from Glasgow. I have to say I was really relieved as once was 'an awfully big adventure' but somehow repetition often spoils a fantastic experience and so I didn't want to do it again.

Two funny things - when I phoned my mum to tell her after I had 'died' she didn't believe me ... and my friend Gemma [Sandy] who [had previously] played Eponine [in this company] had come to stay with me on that day for a few nights. We were going out to a club later and she was getting ready at my flat when the phone rang and it was Poppy saying 'quick you've got to come to the theatre, Bobbie's playing Gavroche' - so she got in to see it! The person who was the most pleased was Adam Searles; he wanted to know EVERY detail!

It was definitely an emergency situation as you can probably tell! It was a nice feeling to 'save the show' though - I sincerely doubt I will ever be given the chance to do something like that again! And it's one of my favourite Les Mis memories.


   For many years, it was the custom of the Arkansas Supreme Court to hand down an annual "April Fool" opinion.   One year, for example, they decided to abolish all the laws in Arkansas and start over from scratch!  It was always a very funny opinion, and would involve a completely bogus case.

    On April 1, 1985, they handed down their usual April Fool's decision.  That year, it was called Catt v. Arkansas, 691 S.W.2d 120 (Ark. S. Court. 1985).  In Catt, the two Catt brothers (their names were Kilkenny and Calico) were accused of various crimes in association with a known felon named Jean Valjean.   An undercover cop named Javert (of the Arkansas State Police) testified against them.  This whole law opinion is about characters from Alice in Wonderland meeting characters from Les MisÚrables, in a trial.   The Catt brothers were supposed to be identical twins, so Javert did not know which Catt committed the crime.  The decision is full of double talk, backwards logic and bizarre reasoning that would make Lewis Carroll proud.

    The funny part was that the national publishing company that publishes court opinions, and sells the published books to lawyers, did not realize this case was a joke and actually published it.   Apparently, the folks at the publishing company had never read Alice in Wonderland or Les MisÚrables, and did not recognize that this whole thing was ridiculous.    To make matters even worse, in April 1996, the Delaware Supreme Court actually wrote a "real" opinion in which they cited the case of Catt v. Arkansas as support for their reasoning.   This caused headlines in the Arkansas newspapers, and a great deal of embarrassment to the Delaware Supreme Court.    Can you imagine some poor defendant in Delaware who almost went to prison over the Arkansas Supreme Court's April Fools joke?


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