That was the life that was Herbert Kretzmer’s and it wasn’t ...

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That was the life that was Herbert Kretzmer’s and it wasn’t miserable

OBITUARY | The SA-born journalist wrote the English text for one of the world’s greatest musicals

Chris Barron

Herbert Kretzmer, who has died in London at the age of 95, was a South African-born journalist and theatre critic who wrote the English libretto for Les Misérables, regarded as one of the greatest musical hits of all time.

After being savagely panned by critics when it opened on London’s West End in 1985, it broke just about every box-office record, running continuously until March this year when the coronavirus pandemic closed down the West End. By this time it had become the longest-running musical in West End history.

It opened on Broadway in 1987 and ran for 16 years, with revivals in 2006 and 2014...

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