Welcome to my first ever theatre review!
Miss Saigon opened for previews at the Prince Edward theatre at the beginning of May which is when I went to see it. Although I had seen the show in it’s first West End incarnation in the 1990’s, I confess that I was not all that familiar with the music and even some of the storyline. I needn’t have worried though as the storyline came flooding back.
Alistair Brammer and Eva Noblezada were excellent as Chris and Kim, with Noblezada in particular, shining. Her portrayal of a young girl alone and vulnerable in the city for the first time, falling in love with a soldier, is extremely moving. In fact, it’s not a spoiler to say that a pack of tissues was a necessity for a considerable number of the audience!
The part of Chris is, for me, underwritten and plays a back seat to the more showy part of the Engineer, played here by Jon Jon Briones. Briones is amazing in the role and the biggest cheers at the curtain call were for him. He brings power to the vocals, particularly in American Dream and manages to stay just the right side of seedy to keep the audience on his side and cheering for him all the way through.
I mentioned that I was not all that familiar with the music from Miss Saigon and I’m sorry to say that having seen it just a matter of weeks ago, I’m having trouble remembering the songs. The two stand out songs are Last Night of the World and American Dream but the others, whilst enjoyable at the time, have faded away. This didn’t affect the enjoyment of the show at the time, just makes it hard to recall them afterwards. Having said that, ticket sales are through the roof so I’m sure that Miss Saigon will have a fantastic run in London. The cast in particular, deserve every bit of praise.