Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Miss Saigon: Curve Theatre, Leicester

They sometimes say that comparison is the theif of joy, and I think this is definately true when it comes to musical theatre. By now I must have seen or performed in hundreds of musicals and if you check my spotify I am usually listening to a soundtrack. As I write this review I have my Ghost soundtrack playing in the background. The problem with this is that whenever I go to see a show I am 90% of the time comparing it to the last cast or the original cast soundtrack and Miss Saigon was no different.

I first saw the show in Birmingham back in 2004 and fell in love with the story. Most people would tell you its a love story between Kim and Chris, while I see it rather differently. I see it as the story of Kims ongoing love for a soldier who never expected her to keep loving him after he left, but take from that what you will!

The Curve's production was fantastic, although I had no idea that the songs had been altered slightly and so it was interesting! For me there were two standout performers Sooha Kim who played Kim actually captured the essence of the role. She embodied the fragile girl who arrived in Dreamland right at the beginning and grew in strength throughout the performance. She had me in tears pretty much from start to finish through her stellar portrayel of the character.

Secondly Red Concepcion as the engineer totally blew me away. It takes a really strong performer to keep you engaged and laughing in such a serious play and he managed both of these things. I was especially impressed with his performance of the American Dream. It takes someone special to capture the audience on an empty stage, but his manner was spot on.

Now onto the dissapointing part for me. My absolute favourite song in the show has been cut! The producers had decided to replace Ellens song "Now that I have seen her" with a far less powerful, "Maybe". This to me is such a poor song. The character of Ellen to me is already weak, and this song is just the final nail in the coffin for her. This obviously is a poor production choice in my opinion, nothing to do with the actress who played her.

Overall though I think that if you see this show you will not be dissapointed. The staging and chereography are fantastic and their is not a single weak link! Unfortunately I saw it on the very last day at the Curve (which also happened to be my birthday!) but it is now on in Birmingham until the end of September so there is plenty of time for you to see it! I am hoping to catch it again before it moves on!

Have you seen Miss Saigon? What did you think?

Charlotte Lucy

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