November 2013 – Miss Saigon
WBOS Youtheatre performed Miss Saigon from Wednesday 6th November to Saturday 9th November 2013.
Public Reviews and Messages
Hi there – I would like you to mention to the cast, crew and orchestra that I thought Miss Saigon was absolutely fantastic. I thought the singing ability and acting talent of the main roles was superb and the supporting cast members were terrific too. I honestly found the production was as good as some West End shows I have seen recently – Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia! I came in a group from Stafford and we said that we wished we’d started a standing ovation. A tremendous well done to you all.
Best wishes – Joanne Wild
Miss Saigon Review – WBOS Youtheatre – Thursday 7th November at the Lichfield Garrick.
This is the second show I have seen put on by a youth theatre group the first being Les Miserables performed by the Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre company. This time it was a performance of Miss Saigon by the West Bromwich Operatic Society Youth Theatre team (WBOS) and I have to say yet again I was blown away by the talent on show.
The production was entirely performed by people aged 10-18 with some amazing voices on display, more on that later first the actual play.
I have never seen Miss Saigon and went into it not really knowing much about the story other than it being set during the Vietnam War and featuring a scene involving a helicopter on stage, will get to that shortly, but first let me talk about the set design and staging. All of the sets were impressive and congratulations must go to the stage designer and makers, no wobbly sets here. The costumes were also very impressive I am not sure how many were made or hired but they looked very good on stage.
Now the helicopter bit of the show, I wasn’t sure how they were going to do this and if we were actually going to see the helicopter but they did and we did. It even started to lift off and move around very impressive indeed and showed that this production had a decent budget. It even got a round or applause from a very appreciative audience.
So onto the cast, the main cast were all excellent and special praise must go to Lucy Follows (Kim) and Maison Kelly (Chris) for there outstanding performance as the two leads. Lucy’s solo songs were the highlight for me a very strong voice but also able to portray the emotions of the songs. Maison was also brilliant and you really felt the emotion on stage during the final number, very impressive indeed. Frazer Shine as the Engineer also shined really bringing the character to life.
The rest of the cast supported the leads well and not a bad performance in the group. The arh factor of the night goes to the young boy playing Tam (i’m not sure which one of the twins playing the part was performing on the night either Valentino or Fabrizio Scattone), as stepping out to a full house would be a scary thought for anyone let alone someone so young.
My only criticism of the night was and I’m not sure if this is the theatre of the production itself but especially in the first half the audio levels of the vocals were being drowned out by the orchestra (I was sat in one of the boxes so only a small speaker facing us), it seemed to improve in the second half but a number of times I could not hear what people were saying.
However that did not distract to much from how good this show was and how impressed I was with the whole production. Congratulations to everyone involved and I will be booking my tickets for the next production at the Garrick of Oliver in November 2014.
Link to blog….
Review for Birmingham Mail and BC Mail, weeklies & behindthearras.com
VERDICT: * * * * *
THIS production of Claude-Michel Schonberg’s dramatic musical, set in the final days of the Vietnam War, is a triumph for the West Bromwich Operatic Society’s talented youngsters.
Aged between 10 and 19, the cast of 55 succeed in delivering every ounce of emotion, drama and even spells of humour in the story of an American GI’s doomed love for an innocent Saigon bar girl.
There are spectacular scenes, particularly when a realistic helicopter – blades spinning – lands and takes off during the spectacular evacuation, and later with night club owner, The Engineer, leading the dancers in The American Dream.
Maison Kelley gives a powerful performance as GI Chris, torn between the love for his American wife, Ellen, and pretty bar girl Kim, played with great feeling by Poppy Aston and Lucy Fellows.
Frazer Shine excels as The Engineer, while Tom Whitehouse, playing Chris’s GI pal John, earns an impressive ovation for his singing of Bui-Doi. A special mention, too, for young brothers Valentino and Fabrizio Scattone who share the role of Kim’s son, Tam.
Directed by Adam Lacey with Lisa Metcalfe’s choreography and Ian Stephenson’s musical direction, Miss Saigon runs to Saturday night (November 9).
Director – Adam Lacey
Musical Director – Ian Stephenson
Choreographer – Lisa Metcalfe
|Chris||Maison Kelley||Frazer Shine|
|Kim||Lucy Follows||Ellie Dabbs|
|Engineer||Frazer Shine||Matt Nicholas|
|Ellen||Poppy Aston||Ellie Dabbs|
|John||Tom Whitehouse||Josh Dean|
|Gigi||Amber Lloyd||Poppy Thompson|
|Mimi||Poppy Thompson||Nika Norman|
|Yvette||Lydia Stephenson||Nika Norman|
|Yvonne||Amy Evans||Nika Norman|
|Thuy||Gavin Duffy||Alex Storey|
|Assistant Commissar||Jacob Kohli|
|Captain Schulz – Soldier||Matt Nicholas|
|Club Owner||Vito Scattone|
|Soldier 1 – Marine 4||Josh Dean|
|Soldier 2 – Marine 3||Alex Storey|
|Soldier 3 – GI – Marine 2 – Officer||Vito Scattone|
|Soldier 4 – Marine Captain||Alistair Winning|
|Soldier 5 – Another Officer||Luke Williams|
|Soldier 6 – Marine 1||Jacob Kohli|
|Vietnamese Girl||Ellie Dabbs|
|Barman – Soldier||Tom Taylor|
|Marines (in Kim’s Nightmare)|| Vito Scattone, Alastair Winning,
Luke Williams, Josh Dean,
Alex Storey, Jacob Kohli.
|Bar Girls / Dancers||Beth Mahoney, Lucy Pritchard, Nika Norman, Megan Lawley|
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Alain Boublil
Original Stage Production by Cameron Mackintosh
A classic love story is brought up-to-date in one of the most stunning theatrical spectacles of all time. In this specially adapted version of MISS SAIGON, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (the creators of LES MISÉRABLES), along with Richard Maltby,Jr., bring Puccini’s Madame Butterfly to the modern world in a moving testament to the human spirit and a scathing indictment of the tragedies of war.
In the turmoil of the Vietnam War, an American soldier and a Vietnamese girl fall in love, only to be separated during the fall of Saigon. Their struggles to find each other over the ensuing years ends in tragedy for her and a fighting chance for the child he never knew he had.
MISS SAIGON SCHOOL EDITION has been specifically adapted to meet the specific needs of the educational theatrical market while maintaining the essence of the authors’ vision. There have been careful edits to the libretto and score, transposition of some of the vocal parts to ensure that the score is better suited to young voices, and the production’s needs have been streamlined.
“Miss Saigon School Edition has been an extraordinary journey for all concerned. The challenges both to performers and those working behind the scenes are certainly worth facing when rewarded with such a positive experience throughout the process, whether it be in rehearsals or the final performances. For us it was important to not simply tell Chris and Kim’s story but also to place the show in its historical and social context. This made the production all the more valuable for our young people as they have had a genuine learning and educational experience whilst working on the show. With so many fantastic set-pieces and wonderful roles Miss Saigon has been a truly memorable experience for all concerned, not least the audiences!”
Rikki Jackson, Director of Drama, Dauntsey’s School