Miss Saigon – Chorley Little Theatre.
Friday 13th January 2017
Friday 13th January was the date of our private screening of Miss Saigon at Chorley Little Theatre.
Based on Puccini’s opera, Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon dramatises a doomed love story involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. In Miss Saigon, the setting is updated to 1970’s Saigon during and after the Vietnam War. Kim is a young bar girl, orphaned by the war, who falls in love with an American GI, Chris, but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.
Eva Noblezada as Kim gives the show real heart with strong singing and assured acting. Kwang-Ho-Hong also makes a very strong impression as Kim’s spurned fiancé, who ends up as a powerful figure in post-war Vietnam. For all of us, however, the standout member of the cast was Jon Jon Briones as the Engineer. When you boil it right down, his character is a sleazy, grubby, manipulative pimp, but played with such charisma and energy, that you almost hope he gets to realise his “American Dream”. Although we realised it would all end in tears, the end of Kim’s story (no spoilers!) still came as a shock. Post-show comments included:
“The engineer (Jon Jon Briones) was stunning. I will look for other productions he is in.”
“A moving and gripping story, although I would have preferred more dialogue (rather than singing) between the numbers.”
“So refreshingly relevant to the history of Vietnam as shown in the Reconciliation Museum I visited in Saigon.”
“I loved every minute; the ending was heart-breaking.”
Many thanks to Chorley Little Theatre for organising this free special screening for Leyland U3A following the late cancellation (through no fault of theirs) of the screening scheduled for last October. We wanted to reciprocate such a generous offer, and are pleased to say we made a total contribution of over £90 to the theatre on the day, which will go towards the purchase of new seating.