Powerful and thrilling, moving and emotional, Boubil and Schonberg’s ‘Miss Saigon’ finally comes to Calderdale thanks to Halifax Amateurs’ Theatre Youth, writes Rebecca Ellis.
This musical is a modern adaption of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and is a tragic love story that spans two continents set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.
The young cast perform with maturity that far surpasses their teenage years. Powerful emotive ballads and huge ensemble numbers fill the show, ensuring that the audience can’t rest for a second. There are powerful and gripping performances from all the principal cast - Bethany Martin, Isabella Foster, Jake Marsden, James Buckley, Ethan Marescaux and Tom Ramsey. The wonderful ensemble also must be praised; they do a sterling job supporting the action, playing multiple roles from marines to Bangkok show girls.
The musical numbers are presented with perfection and ‘Last Night of the World (Solo Saxophone)’, ‘American Dream’ and ‘The Heat is on in Saigon’ are particular highlights. The orchestra (which is huge) is expertly conducted by Graham Robbins and the wonderful dance routines are also first class. The suggestional set combined with excellent lights and sound work smoothly, suggesting numerous venues and places of action.
I have never witnessed an opening night like this before, the whole audience rose to their feet applauding this stunning musical - there was not a dry eye in the house. This is a must-see for any theatre goer in the area.
‘Miss Saigon’ at Halifax Playhouse runs until Saturday, November 2, and tickets are available from the theatre and http://www.halifaxplayhouse.org.uk/