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Miss Saigon returns to the West End

Theatre preview

A NEW production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg’s Miss Saigon will open at the Prince Edward Theatre in May 2014.

It will be directed by Laurence Connor, who re-conceived the show for its UK and international tour. With James Powell, Connor also recently revamped the touring production of Les Miserables.

Miss Saigon is based on Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly but with the setting relocated to Saigon during the Vietnam War, and tells of a doomed love affair between Chris, an American GI and Kim, a Vietnamese bar girl.

Producer Cameron Mackintosh said: “Of all my shows Miss Saigon is probably the one I have the most requests to bring back. For some years I have been waiting for the perfect theatre to house the new production. These requests are not only from a public who remembers seeing it originally but from a generation of new audiences who were too young (or not even born!) to get to see it. Now that the very successful Jersey Boys has decided to move to a more intimate theatre I now have the perfect theatre – The Prince Edward.”

In a press statement, he also said: “Ten years ago I decided to reconceive the show in a completely re-imagined physical production that could play a far greater number of theatres than the original but still retains Bob Avian’s legendary musical staging and the same scale of cast. As well as touring the UK with enormous success the new production directed by Laurence Connor has been seen in numerous countries around the world where it has been embraced by audiences and critics alike with as much enthusiasm as the original.

“If anything the tragic love story of Miss Saigon has become even more relevant today. In the last 25 years our country has become involved in similar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the way we weren’t in Vietnam and the American Dream has been buffeted by the reality of recent history. The new production has taken a more gritty and realistic approach to the design than the operatic original but still delivers the power and epic sweep of Boublil and Schönberg’s great score.”

This version of Miss Saigon will include a new song, Maybe, that Schönberg and Boublil wrote for the character Ellen, Chris’ new American wife, to sing in the second act. It has been included in the recent Dutch and Japanese productions but London audiences will be the first to hear it sung in English.

The original London production premiered at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1989 and to date, remains the longest-running show ever to play there. The Broadway production enjoyed similar success, running for almost ten years.

The show has been performed in 28 countries, in over 300 cities and in 15 different languages, has won over 40 awards including two Olivier Awards, three Tony Awards, and four Drama Desk Awards and been seen by over 35 million people worldwide.

Tickets for the new production go on sale on September 9, 2013.

In March 2014, the long-running musical Jersey Boys will transfer to the Piccadilly Theatre.