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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Les Mis tops musical poll
Les Miserables
Les Miserables is based on Hugo's revolution novel
Les Miserables has topped a top 10 poll of favourite musicals of BBC News Online users.

The news of the closure of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express in the West End was greeted with much talk about the death of the musical.

But BBC News Online readers still appear to be keen on the classics as the Cameron Mackintosh spectacular came out on top with 29.59% of the vote.

Based on the Victor Hugo novel, the musical continues at London's Palace Theatre, featuring memorable characters such as Eponine and Cosette.

In second place with 15.6% is the Rocky Horror Show, which is currently taking a break from its UK tour after 25 years.

Written by Richard O'Brien, the musical achieved cult status in a short period of time as audiences were encouraged to participate in the proceedings.

My Fair Lady
Martine McCutcheon wowed the critics in My Fair Lady
It is a common sight to see theatre-goers dressed in drag joining in with the words and throwing objects onto the stage during performances. It also spawned a cult film of the same name.

West Side Story's classic tale of love across the barricades still continues to tug at the heartstrings coming third in the poll with 13.65% of the votes.

Based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the show - with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim - is currently touring the UK.

Hit movie

Mackintosh's production of My Fair Lady starring Martine McCutcheon has recently transferred to London's Theatre Royal following a sell-out run at the National Theatre.

Polling 9.69% of the 2,920 voters, the Lerner and Loewe classic was fourth favourite.

Grease, which is touring the UK, is still a hit with theatre-goers who fondly remember the Olivia Newton John and John Travolta film, with 8.81% of votes.

But Lord Lloyd-Webber's musicals have not fared so well in the poll.

Cats reached his highest position at number six (5.39%), closely followed by Evita (5.02%).

Starlight Express, which has played to audiences, for 17 years only scrapped in to number nine, with just 3.3% of people picking it as their favourite.

Chicago, which is playing at London's Adelphi Theatre with Denise van Outen starring, was eighth favourite with 3.86%.

Guys and Dolls, an amateur dramatic society regular, limped into last place with just 3.86% of the total vote.

See also:

11 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Full-time called on Beautiful Game
02 May 01 | Arts
Furore over 'Les Mis II'
15 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Critics honour Beautiful Game
27 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Soccer musical has crowd on its feet
20 Sep 00 | Northern Ireland
Musical premiere boosts Omagh fund
07 Mar 00 | South Asia
Lloyd Webber's Bollywood dream
28 Mar 01 | Arts
My Fair Lady set for sell-out
28 Feb 01 | Entertainment
West End crisis 'near'
06 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Hollywood lends West End its stars
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