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Les Miserables – Readers Theater ScriptAdapted from Victor Hugo’s novelby Jonathan MaddenJEAN VALJEAN JAVERT COSETTEROBERTJUDGERIMBAUDBISHOPMME. MAGLOIRECORPORALSILVERSMITHMENTOUFANTINE, Cosette's motherPROSECUTORMATHIEU, demented2nd JUDGEBREVET, criminalGENFLOU, criminalCOCHESPAILLE, criminalMARIUS, young revolutionary who loves CosetteDUPUY, of the policeREVOLUTIONARYGUSTAVE, a revolutionaryRobert:(Narrates)I did not know Valjean during the earlier years of his life, but from what he since has told me, and what I've been able to piece together, it is clear that this narrative had its start on that tragic day when he was brought into court, charged with theft.Judge:Before we proceed, will the accused explain the presence of his family in the court?Valjean: They're the children of a friend, Monsieur. Their mother gave me shelter while I looked for work.Judge:Go on. Go on.
Valjean: It's just when I saw them standing there, looking at the loaves of bread-- They were starving, Monsieur.Judge:Oh, then you admit to the theft?Valjean: I had no money. I - I took the loaf.Judge:The sentence is ten years at the oars.Valjean: Ten years? Ten years?! You don't understand, Monsieur--Judge:Remove the prisoner! Bring in the next case.Robert:(Narrates)Ten years -- for stealing a loaf of bread. Ten years on a prison ship. So did French justice turn a man into something half animal. The endless cruelties dulled his mind, filled it withhate and fear. But the day came when the iron collar was removed from his neck, and the chains were cut from his ankles.Rimbaud:Well, Valjean, it appears we are rid of you. Here's your paper, sign it.Valjean: Paper?Rimbaud:You've been released. Sign the paper.Javert:It's regulations, Valjean.Rimbaud:Surely you've learned much of regulations. Lieutenant Javert is celebrated for his knowledge of regulations, eh, Javert?
Javert:Valjean, you have been assigned to the Orleans district. You're to proceed there immediately and report to police headquarters, and thereafter report once a month.Valjean: Yes, Lieutenant.Javert:Failure to do so means you will be taken and sent back for life. Give him his money, Rimbaud.Rimbaud:Here, thirty-three francs.Valjean: No. No, eleven francs more.Rimbaud:(Insists)Thirty-three francs.Javert:Pay him the rest of his money.Rimbaud:What you do on the ship is your business Javert, but here on land I am in charge.Javert:Pay him!Valjean: Thank you. Thank you.Javert:Stand to attention when you address a police officer. Now get out! (TO RIMBAUD) As for you--Rimbaud:(Mock innocence)Me, Lieutenant? Javert:One more offense and I'll report you to your captain.Rimbaud:
(Mockingly)Oh, forgive me, Lieutenant. Oh, uh, and allow me to express my grief. I read in your ship's report that an old man died at the oars. The lieutenant's father, was he not?