Review: Miss Saigon

Cameron Mackintosh's production of the hit musical Miss Saigon is a moving story of romance and war that will leave you in tears

  • Miss Saigon

  • Miss Saigon

  • Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon is one of those musicals that epitomises the experience of musical theatre. Boublil and Schönberg's legendary musical has everything, romance, danger, drama and emotion and the musical numbers and choreography will blow you away.

Miss Saigon tells the story of Kim, a 17-year-old orphan from the country who travels to Saigon during the Vietname War to find work. The Engineer, who runs a brothel where American soldiers pick up local girls, finds Kim roaming the streets and knows she will be a hit with his clientele. Chris, an American soldier, wants no part in the revelry in the bar, and feels instinctively protective of Kim. The pair fall in love, and get married, but when Saigon falls they are seperated. Chris tries to move on back home in America, while Kim struggles to survive and protect the son Chris doesn't know they have. It all culminates in a devastatingly tragic ending of Shakespearean proportions.

Sooha Kim plays Kim and her mastery of her voice is astounding. Every song she performs is worthy of an ovation and the gruelling performance she puts in is absolutely spell-binding. Chris played by Ashley Gilmour is a fittingly dashing and endearing character that plays the earnest (and buff) soldier perfectly. The Engineer, portrayed by Red Concepcion, steals the show in his humour, wit and charm. The ensemble cast put in fantastic performances throughout, whether playing call girls, soldiers or desperate Vietnamese citizens rattling the gates of the American base as Saigon falls. The Morning of the Dragon is a showstopper. The elaborate staging is an enthralling character of its own, the attention to detail and the scale of which is overwhelming. One cannot mention Miss Saigon without reference to the actual helicopter that appears on stage, but there is also the rotating bar, the Vietnamese country side, and the bright lights of the streets of Bangkok.

This is a musical that lives up to its reputation for lavish sets, special effects and powerful performances. The storyline is harrowing but to experience Sooha's phenomenal voice is a must.

Miss Saigon runs at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre from 4 October to 18 November. For tickets, click here.

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