Miss Saigon – Prince Edward Theatre
Don’t get too excited, I haven’t seen it yet, not this time round anyway, but it is WAY at the top of my list of things to see. After opening night last night, I felt compelled to write about what is probably the most anticpated opening of a show in recent years.
Miss Saigon was first seen in 1989 and it ran for 10 years at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane theatre, I saw it several times and it comfortably sits in my top ten list of musicals of all time. Loosely based on Puccini’s Madame Butterfly against the background of the Vietnamese war the idea was supposedly sparked by a photo of a Vietnamese Mother giving away her child after the war to her American father in the hope that the child will have a better life overseas.
Music and lyrics are written by Claude Michael Schõnberg and Alain Boublil (of Les Mis fame) along with Richard Maltby Jnr with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler and they are amongst the most both powerful and poignant I have ever heard.
The central character is a girl called Kim played by 18yr old Eva Noblezada @evanoblezada, Kim is forced by circumstances to work as a call girl in a bar when she meets Chris, Alistair Brammer an Amercian Gi. They find love and he promises her a future, but all goes wrong during the fall of Saigon.
I personally cannot wait to go and see this production as it is a firm favourite of mine, Critics have stated that it is not as good as the original, I would like to see for myself and judge whether this is nostalgia talking or fact. Certainly, the cast has a lot to live up to, Lea Salonga and Monique Wilson were both superb, I always thought Lea was the better singer but Monique’s acting just had the edge. I remember clearly the criticism surrounding the casting of a non-Asian Jonathan Pryce in the pivotal role of Engineer which was unfounded as he was marvellous.
The 3 Ellens I saw, Claire Moore, Liz Callaway and Ruthie Henshall were also amazing. I also remember Peter Polycarpou’s rendition of Bui Doi as it gave me shivers down my spine.
You see I AM nostalgic, it’ll be very tough to beat. However, when I go, I shall go with an open mind. I shall be interested to see for myself how Laurence Connor’s direction differs from Hytner’s and I am hearing a lot about the lighting……lighting?? Seems a strange thing to pick up on but interesting all the same. (lighting design by Bruno Poet)
Even the pomp, the social media frenzy and the end of opening night fireworks failed to inspire the main critics who are comparing it to the previous production, is that fair? Do a new audience expect new things? Are we living in the good old days, The public are wowed, surely that is the main thing. Let it run a very long time. Long enough for me to get there anyway 🙂
UPDATE: SEEN, LOVED, REVIEWED – please see www.theatresoutheast.com
Official Website: www.miss-saigon.com
Facebook: click here
Twitter Feed: MissSaigonUK
The Critics said:
To find our what people are saying on twitter: Tweets about “@misssaigonuk”
Tickets Range from £47.25 to £99.75 and currently are readily available.
There may be some ticket deals available but HIGHLY unlikely a the moment.
Have you seen ‘Miss Saigon’, did you see the original? Did you like it? I would love to hear your views.
Tweet (or follow) me at @Theatre_SE