Sheffield Theatre's summer staging of the international hit musical Miss Saigon—the first regional non-replica production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s musical in the U.K.—began performances July 8 on the Crucible stage. The retelling of Madame Butterfly set during the Vietnam War will officially open July 13 and continue through August 19.
Prior to the first preview, members of the cast performed two of the songs, accompanied by piano. Watch Jessica Lee, who plays Kim, and Christian Maynard, who plays Chris, perform "Last Night of the World," with assistant musical director Matthew Jackson on piano, above.
Below, watch Shanay Holmes, who plays Ellen, perform "Maybe," with musical director Chris Poon on piano.
Presented by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh, Miss Saigon has been reimagined by Sheffield Artistic Director Robert Hastie and RTYDS Associate Artistic Director Anthony Lau.
Joanna Ampil, who has played Kim in the London, Sydney, U.K. touring, and 10th anniversary productions of Miss Saigon, is cast in the traditionally male role of The Engineer.
She is joined by the Desmonda Cathabel as Mimi and Alternate Kim, Aynrand Ferrer as Gigi, Holmes as Ellen, Lee as Kim and Alternate Mimi, Ethan Le Phong as Thuy, Maynard as Chris, Emily Ooi as Yvonne and Understudy Gigi, Shane O’Riordan as John, Ericka Posadas as Fifi and Understudy The Engineer.
Making up the ensemble are Adam Colbeck-Dunn, Andrew Davison, Oscar Kong, Abel Law, Lavinia Mai, Patrick Munday, Rachel Jayne Picar, Aharon Rayner, Ernest Stroud, Rumi Sutton, Callum Tempest, Danny Whelan, Riley Woodford, and Iverson Yabut.
Artistic Director Hastie said in an earlier statement, "A new production of Miss Saigon—the first in the U.K. to be given permission to explore new approaches to staging and casting since the original 1989 production—will light up the Crucible in summer 2023. Anthony and I are thrilled to be co-directing Boublil and Schönberg’s iconic show, and could not be more excited to be welcoming Joanna Ampil to Sheffield to play The Engineer."
Co-director Lau added, "Robert Hastie and I are thrilled to be directing a new version of the musical, Miss Saigon. With one of the most extraordinary scores in musical theatre history, we are looking forward to offering a fresh perspective on a musical that so many people have an opinion on. We want this project to ignite conversation and Cameron has encouraged us to be bold and original in our approach. The subject matter compels us to delve sensitively and deeply into the complications of two cultures entwined. At a time when it feels like there is more division than ever in society, epic stories like this give us the opportunity to embrace nuance and complexity in exploring the human experience."
Miss Saigon has music by Schönberg and lyrics by Richard
Maltby Jr. and Boublil, adapted from original French text by Boublil
with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler and orchestrations by William
The production also has design by Ben Stones, choreography by Jade Hackett, lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun, sound design by Mike Walker, video and animation design by Andrzej Goulding, musical direction by Chris Poon, orchestral management by David Gallagher, casting by Stuart Burt, children's casting by Sarah De Souza, intimacy coordination and fight direction by Haruka Kuroda, wigs, hair, and makeup design by Sam Cox, associate direction by Lexine Lee, associate choreography by Nicola Mac, assistant musical direction by Matthew Jackson, musical assistance by Tom Crathorne, and occupational therapy by Jane Titterton.
Following its London premiere, Miss Saigon opened at the Broadway Theatre in April 1991, subsequently earning 11 Tony nominations and winning three for co-stars Lea Salonga, Jonathan Pryce, and Hinton Battle. The musical played 19 previews and 4,092 regular performances before closing in January 2001. A 2017 Broadway revival featured Eva Noblezada, who was Tony-nominated for her performance as Kim.
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