Review: Miss Saigon – Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Miss Saigon will be taking over Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre until the 17th February, which is great news for us as it gives us plenty of time to see it again. I’m not sure how I’ll find the words to explain how incredible Miss Saigon is, surely I’ll need to go a little further than very incredible (although that is accurate).

Miss Saigon Plot (no spoilers)

There’s always a buzz in Edinburgh Festival Theatre prior to a show, but the atmosphere building for Miss Saigon was positively electric. I’ll be honest, we didn’t know anything about the production prior to having a quick flick through the programme, something I wish I hadn’t done, given that a couple of plot elements are given away. I’m guessing the plot of Miss Saigon is common knowledge, the audience was probably excited because they’d either seen it before or were fully aware how much fun they were about to have.

Miss Saigon certainly seemed like the kind of show you see more than once:

Miss Saigon takes place in the last days of the Vietnam War, 17-year-old Kim is forced to work in Dreamland, a Saigon bar and brothel run by a pimp and hustler known as The Engineer. Kim falls in love with an American GI named Chris and has a marriage ceremony of sorts. The couple is separated and loses contact, until three years later when their paths cross again.

A Thrilling Theatrical Production

Miss Saigon captured our imagination before the curtains even opened, with a thundering helicopter flying overhead. There was panic on the streets of Saigon and a party going on in Dreamland, where some repulsive Amercian soldiers are ready to have some ‘fun’ with the Vietnamese prostitutes. This manic scene with a huge cast is a feast for the eyes, the sets are beautifully designed and lighting is breathtaking – it didn’t take long to understand why people would see this show more than once.

Miss Saigon can be an assault on your senses at times, you’ll forget to blink and most likely spend the duration of the show on the edge of your seat. It’s an exhilarating and intense production, which will grab your attention and give it a shake every few seconds.

Sooha Kim has an absolutely beautiful voice and gives a phenomenal performance as Kim, growing up on stage from a sweet and innocent young girl into a strong and confident woman.

Red Concepcion is a scene stealer as ‘The Engineer’, somehow managing to be sleazy, charming, terrifying and hilarious at the flick of a switchblade. ‘The American Dream’ was one of the show’s standout performances, a spine-tinglingly sensational spectacle.

Another standout scene involves some slick set changes to give the audience different viewpoints of the US Embassy, this epic spectacle with stunning choreography was mesmerising.

Miss Saigon has a powerful message about how the brutality of war stretches far beyond the battlefield and continues long after the war is over, it’s also a story about love, hope and sacrifice. It’s an emotional ride and one that we’ll certainly be getting on again.

We’ve seen some wonderful shows in Edinburgh, Miss Saigon might just be the best yet, in summary – it’s very incredible.

Wed 17 January to Sat 17 February 2018

Festival Theatre (13-29 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9FT)

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval)

Age: 12+ Contains scenes and language which may not be suitable for younger audience members, including scenes of a sexual nature.


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