A little (okay, quite a bit) late – I blame exams – but I went to see the West End revival of Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre in London on the 27th May.
The show tells the story of Kim, an orphaned seventeen year old who is forced to leave her home in the midst of the Vietnamese War. She meets an American G.I, Chris, with whom she immediately falls in love. The story then unfolds as one of love, heartbreak and tragedy.
The leading lady was the fantastic Eva Noblezada, in the role of Kim. At only eighteen years old, this young lady clearly has a huge future ahead of her as she truly is a special performer and is bound to become the next Lea Salonga, or perhaps better! Kim is a character you cannot help but love and feel for and Noblezada nailed these traits, playing her pretty much exactly how I envisaged Kim to be. Her performance was very raw and packed with emotion throughout the show, juxtaposing both Kim’s vulnerable and determined sides which worked like a dream.
Chris Peluso, ironically, played the character of Chris, Kim’s lover. Another very strong performer with excellent vocals and a fabulous ability to portray a character with more than one or two dimensions. His and Noblezada’s chemistry was so believable and an absolute joy to watch.
The lovely Claire Parrish played the role of Chris’ wife Ellen and deserves a mention because she was wonderful. Parrish is actually the understudy for the role, who is usually played by Siobhan Dillon and I admit it, I was disappointed not to be seeing her but nonetheless, Parrish was excellent in the role. The character of Ellen essentially has two sides – the loving wife and the jealous wife, both of which were played immaculately. Another mention must go to Jon Jon Briones who played the Engineer. I personally found the character unlikeable but they do say if the character is unlikeable then the actor is doing it right, which Briones most certainly was, the number The American Dream being a prime example of his skill as a performer.
Miss Saigon is a classic and much-loved tale which everyone die-hard musical fan should see and hey, so should those who are perhaps not such die-hard fans. Take your grannies to see it, take your brother, sister, mother, father, take the dog (alright, think about it realistically, the staff probably won’t let the dog in, worth a try though!)! It is a spectacular production technically as well, with the iconic ‘prop’ (in inverted commas because my definition of prop is a small object but there you go) being the famous helicopter. I have a gut feeling that this production will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera success-wise – it certainly will be a hit for a long time to come, all the same, go and see it. Now.