(Hey pals, just a little note to let you know that this review will be spoiler free, and no real spoiler related plot points are given… enjoy xx)
I’ve had some pretty amazing opportunities due to my blog, and I am incredibly grateful for every single one. However, from a personal perspective, this may have been one of the most “pinch me” moments I’ve had.
I have loved the theatre – particularly musicals – for as long as I can remember; my mum used to take me as often as she could when I was a child and since then my love has continued to blossom. Everything to do with musicals is absolutely insane to me and I appreciate the craft of it so much. I try to consume as much as I can (Within my student budget) so, when the Bristol Hippodrome invited me to the press night of the Miss Saigon tour I was absolutely ecstatic!
I first heard of Miss Saigon 3 years ago, when I watched them perform at West End Live and their performance was one of my favourites of the event (up there with Memphis, which has since become my all-time favourite musical). However, I unfortunately never got the chance to see it as nobody around me had a real interest… So this felt like fate. I still went into it with no real idea of the plot, other than the fact that it was set around the war, but honestly, I found that quite refreshing. In an era where you have access to endless information about everything at our fingertips, it’s rare to into something with no prior knowledge or expectations.
From the opening we were thrust into the gritty world of Saigon; with a lively energetic number set in a brothel. The lights flashed (this production uses lights to disorientate the audience quite a bit – it’s fun and immersive but watch out for that if you suffer from epilepsy or anything.), the music blared, and the girls danced with confidence and style, allowing for great contrast between the flashy lifestyle they sold to the soldiers and the sad life they were suffering through for themselves. Red Concepcion, who played the Engineer gripped me from the start, and kept my focus the whole way through. He was the right amount of sleazy and hilarious, making me route for a character that I probably shouldn’t have, and his number about the American Dream (Act 2) absolutely blew me away.
Having no previous idea about the plot, I obviously had no idea about how much this musical would make me emote. I entered the interval having already been through a roller-coaster of emotions: from hope, to sadness, to fear, to anger, and boy, this only developed in Act 2. I assumed Miss Saigon, like many of the musicals I have seen, had a happy ending… I was oh so very wrong. The emotion and situation of the final few scenes almost brought me to tears, and left me incredibly conflicted. However, it was the sudden event of the ending that had me leaving the theatre in shock and confusion. The writing was excellent, the music and the acting was excellent; I felt every moment of it and I am in absolute awe.
I assumed that Miss Saigon was a love story, and to some extent it is. However, it stretches so much further than a romance. It’s a story of struggle, responsibility and hope for a better life, with the themes transcending the plot and time period. I strongly recommend Miss Saigon… And also strongly recommend that you bring tissues and wear waterproof mascara. Everything about it left me in awe; from the set design to the orchestra to the ensemble cast, and everything in between.
Thank you so much to the Bristol Hippodrome for inviting me to the press night! Try and catch Miss Saigon while it’s touring! I have attached a link to the tour dates and locations here, so that you can find out when/if they’re coming near you!
Have you seen Miss Saigon? Tell me what you thought of it/your favourite musicals down below!
Lots of love,
[All photos used were not taken to me and sent by the Bristol Hippodrome.]
*DISCLAIMER* This review is not sponsored, but I was given a complimentary ticket to see this show. However, that does not affect the integrity of my review. All my thoughts and opinions are my own and I always work to keep my reviews genuine and honest.