Les Misérables


Cast & Creatives

Herbert Kretzmer


Herbert Kretzmer was born in South Africa, where he began a career in journalism writing the commentary for a weekly cinema newsreel. He came to live in London in 1954, and has since pursued twin careers as newspaperman and songwriter. He was feature writer on the Daily Sketch and a profile writer on the Sunday Despatch. He joined the Daily Express in 1960 and later became its drama critic, a post he held for 18 years, covering about 3,000 first nights.

From 1979-1987 he wrote television criticism for the Daily Mail, winning, in this capacity, two national press awards. As a lyric writer he wrote weekly songs for That Was The Week That Was, the BBC’s groundbreaking satire program, which became one of the most successful and significant programs in the history of British broadcasting. He won an Ivor Novello Award for the Peter Sellers-Sophia Loren comedy song Goodness Gracious Me. Other award-winning songs include two written with, and for, Charles Aznavour: Yesterday When I Was Young and the chart-topping She. He wrote the book and lyrics for the West End musical Our Man Critchton, which starred Kenneth More and Milicent Martin; and the lyrics for The Four Musketeers, which ran for more than a year at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, starring Harry Secombe as D’Artagnan. He also supplied the lyrics for the Anthony Newley musical film Can Heironymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe And Find True Happiness? Herbert Kretzmer is probably most well known for his English language version of the Boubil-Schönberg musical Les Misérables, which, in translation, has been performed all over the world and is the longest running musical in history. Marguerite, written with Michel LeGrand, Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London in 2008. He has also worked with Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson as lyricist for Kristina which met with much critical success in concert performances in 2009 and 2010 at Carnegie Hall in New York and The Royal Albert Hall in London. Herbert Kretzmer has been honoured by the French government, being appointed Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. In 2011 he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).