Theatre Review: Miss Saigon - Prince Edward Theatre ✭✭✭✭✭

Miss Saigon
Prince Edward Theatre
Review by Philippa Stubbs

22nd May 2014: In recent times, the West End has been plagued with the closure of shows left, right and centre. There are only so many ‘jukebox’ musicals and abstract concepts that Theatre Land can hold and revivals are making a comeback. With a previous stint in the West End and successful tours under her belt, Miss Saigon makes her entrance into the Prince Edward Theatre, for what will be another long run.

Alistair Brammer as Chris
Photo Credit: Michael Le Poer Trench
With inspiration from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon communicates the epic love story of an American GI (Chris) who falls in love with a Vietnamese civilian (Kim) during the desperate times of the Vietnam War. With music by Boubil and Shonberg the score contains passionate love songs such as “Last Night of the World (Solo Saxophone)” and ‘”I still believe” with an orchestration that seamlessly marries the eastern and western cultures. This combined with the technical wizardry of a talented creative team will surely secure a few awards in the years ahead.

What strikes the most is the professional direction and extremely well rehearsed company. Every movement, note and gaze has a purpose that adds not only to effective characterisation but also the emotional journey embarked on by the audience. Eighteen year old west end newbie Eva Noblezada (Kim) and the more experienced Alistair Brammer (Chris) share a chemistry that is something magical. The way their bodies intertwine and the raw emotion in their voices clearly reflect a very talented pair who work seamlessly together.

Jon Jon Briones brings years of experience to the role of The Engineer. He exerts just the right amount of humour and sleaze to the character and his starring satirical performance of ‘The American Dream’ complete with a Cadillac and showgirls is a real showstopper.

Eva Noblezada as Kim and Kwang Ho Hong as Thuy
Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
When a musical is written so superbly, the production and direction must do it justice and in this case, I think the relationship reaches new heights. Just don’t forget to take some tissues!

Five stars ✭✭✭✭✭

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