The Version Review... Miss Saigon at Leicester's impressive Curve theatre.
Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical Miss Saigon is currently undertaking a major UK Tour. A recent smash hit in the West End and currently playing on Broadway, this epic production with a company of 60 is currently in Leicester at the impressive Curve theatre.
In the last days of the Vietnam War, 17 year-old Kim is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American GI named Chris but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For 3 years Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he’s fathered a son.
From the moment the noise of an approaching helicopter resonated around the Leicester Curve auditorium, I knew I was in for a treat. The colourful opening of ‘The Heat is on in Saigon’ instantly grabbed the audience, and transported them back to a more tumultuous time. Chris (Ashley Gilmour) was vocally perfect throughout the performance, a really heartfelt emotional portrayal of this role. His chemistry with Kim (Sooha Kim) was utterly realised, we are talking ‘off the charts’ good with this perfomance. When The pair sang ‘Last Night of the World’ the audiences response was incredible, and deserved. Sooha’s portrayal of Kim was reathtaking, a truly outstanding performance from her.
Red Concepcion as the Engineer was a revelation, his character, who is desperate to get out of Vietnam and pursue ‘The American Dream’ in the West was expertly played with style and perfect comedy timing, and what a voice.
One of the highlights of the show, for me, was the emotional rendition of ‘Bui Doi’. A beautiful song about children, who were the product of over-amorous soldiers, being left behind in the warzone as their fathers returned to America, the very basis of the plot. John (Ryan O’Gorman) sang the song with emotion, and when the chorus joined him in perfect harmony, it was an electric moment.
The iconic helicopter scene was visually stunning and very cleverly done. Credit must go to the lighting and sound teams for the impact of this. It was perfect.
Zoe Doano was fantastic as Ellen, and Gerald Santos gave a menacing performance as Thuy. The scene at the end of act one with Kim and Thuy was incredible. I don’t want to spoil the story though, by writing too much, you have to see it to understand how powerful it was. Do yourself a favour and grab yourself a ticket!
Go to curveonline.co.uk for more details.