Chris and Kim embracing in Miss Saigon

The Heat is on in Saigon

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Sat 20 Jan 2018

Well, the heat may have been on in Saigon last night, but unfortunately it wasn’t on in Edinburgh! My friend and I battled a snowstorm to get into town to see Miss Saigon at the Festival Theatre, but it was well worth the effort.

The show has been running in theatres for almost 29 years and is currently produced by the amazing Cameron Mackintosh. This is third time I have been to see it, and it is always spectacular.

Based on Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, but relocated to Saigon in 1975, just before the end of the Vietnam War. It is the tragic love story of Kim, a Vietnamese bar girl, and Chris, an American G.I. This is a completely sung-through musical, which means there is no spoken dialogue. So. the whole story is told through the songs and visuals.

I know and love the powerful songs, created by Boublil and Schönberg. (They are the incredible duo that co-wrote one of my other all-time favourites, Les MisĂ©rables). Seeing them performed live on stage with the full production gives them a whole new dimension and meaning. Without giving too much away, you can expect raunchy, romantic and emotional numbers. It’s a sad story within the setting of a real historical event, so don’t expect a happy ending!

Miss Saigon helicopter evacuation scene

The cast were absolutely fantastic. What voices! The orchestra was also brilliant, and the sets and costumes were stunning. The helicopter was particularly impressive. This is the first time I have seen the show since becoming a Mum, and that did definitely help me to relate more to the character Kim. I could understand her desperation and I certainly had a few tears for her. I must mention the little boy who played her son Tam. He looked very young, perhaps 4 years old. It can’t be easy for someone so small to get up on that big stage. He was very sweet and did a great job.

I can’t recommend Miss Saigon enough. The best show I’ve seen in a long time … and the good news is, it’s on at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh until 17th February. Go see it!

Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9FT