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  • Writer's pictureSophie Harkness

Miss Saigon UK Tour (Manchester) Review


Manchester Palace Theatre

Hellooo! Back on the 12th May, as Miss Saigon comes towards the end of its tour, I thought I'd write my thoughts on when I saw it at the Manchester Palace Theatre! I was sat in seat O9 in the Circle which cost £44 including fees which was a decent enough price for the seat compared to some of the others in the Circle! The view was great and the overhang from the tier above came down to just above the stage so if you were going to see a show such as Wicked where they use the top of the stage a lot, sitting in row O wouldn't be a problem. However, the seats were VERY cramped with little leg room but once the show began I forgot about the seat!

The view from Circle O9

First things first, Miss Saigon was INTENSE! I had no idea about the story behind the show (other than that it was set during the Vietnam War) but it was so moving from start to finish and the entire cast were absolutely incredible! It was an emotional roller coaster which ended with plenty of tears from everyone I could see and everything about it was so powerful! The show was sung-through which I'm always a bit wary of but I really enjoyed it and it suited the emotion of the show well. It also helped that I loved the music throughout the show, particularly The Movie In My Mind, I Still Believe and I'd Give My Life For You. I also loved the impact that songs such as Bui Doi had where the company sang as a group.

The programmes and pin badge

Onto the production of the show! The sets were incredible from start to finish and I was SO impressed with them! It's easy to see why it's such a successful show, including sets such as an ACTUAL HELICOPTER. Speaking of which, Miss Saigon included a couple of scenes (such as the helicopter scene) which could occur in modern day war-torn countries which I found interesting. I particularly loved the ending to act 1 and I also really liked the sound design of the show which made it feel even more immersive. Of course, I also couldn't resist grabbing a programme for £4, a brochure for £8 and a pin badge for £5!

Now for the cast! Joreen Bautista starred as Kim who was just amazing! Her voice was incredible and the emotion she brought to the role made her fascinating to watch and I couldn't believe she was just 18! Red Concepcion played the role of The Engineer and the comedy aspects to the role helped to break up the show and lift the mood every now and again. I also loved Aicelle Santos as Gigi and her voice and performance in The Movie In My Mind was perfect! Ashley Gilmour played the role of Chris perfectly which I loved and Elana Martin (Ellen), Ryan O'Gorman (John) and Youngjoo Park (Thuy understudy) completed the lead roles. Samuel Cui played the role of Tam who was so cute! He wasn't at all phased by the audience which was amazing at such a young age! The entire cast were incredible and it felt like there were SO many people on stage which really suited the show.

Overall, I loved the show but it was VERY intense! The production value of the show was insane and the cast were all incredible! I'd definitely recommend going to see Miss Saigon but make sure you take tissues! The talent behind the cast and crew from the performers to the set designers was amazing to see and although Miss Saigon is based around a very heavy topic, I really enjoyed it and from what I could see, everyone around me did too.

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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