Just an hour before the lights went down for the evening performance of Miss Saigon on Tues 15 August, we were lucky enough to take a trip inside Dreamland with Company Manager Neil White and Zoe Doano (Ellen) to discover more about what incredible discoveries await behind the curtain…
10 Things You May Not Know About Miss Saigon….
- The 2016/17 UK touring production of Miss Saigon features a company of 87 (which includes 38 cast, 32 crew, 15 orchestra and 2 creatives).
- Once the Miss Saigon set arrives in Birmingham, it takes a total of 60 hours to unload, rig and assemble the individual components in time for opening night, that’s the equivalent of 2700 man hours!
- During an average fit-up, a 45-strong team of production staff will unload 16 trailers worth of scenery & props. The largest of these are unloaded via lorry lift which can hold 40 tonnes which is the same weight as 15 elephants.
- There are 1437 lighting and video cues are in the show, of which nearly 600 are called by the DSM. 5 of these are triggered by sound effects.
- One of the heaviest items of costume to feature in the show are the beaded bikinis featured in the ‘American Dream’ sequence. Each bikini features over a kilo of beading, that’s a whopping 75 stone on each leg.
- It takes approximately 40 hours to create one wig. Red Concepcion, who plays The Engineer in the show, has two wigs in the show – which he has named ‘Wilma’ and ‘Fernando’.
- This production of Miss Saigon features one of the largest orchestras currently touring in the UK with a total of 15 members.
- The flautist, Claire Bennett is responsible for 11 instruments in total – including eight Asian flutes, one standard flute and a piccolo. The Asian flutes only ever play when Kim is on stage. These acts as her ‘character’ within the wider orchestra.
- Designed by Matt Kinley and Totie Driver, the Miss Saigon helicopter comes complete with ten individual moving elements, all of which are independently controlled and weighs over 3 tonnes.
- Based on the original ‘Huey’ helicopter model, the prop is only 5% smaller than a real life helicopter cab and is equivalent in height to 1 ½ London double-decker buses. By the end of the UK Tour, the helicopter will have travelled a grand total of 20,000 miles.
Miss Saigon runs in Birmingham until Sat 23 September. For further information and to book, call the Box Office on 0844 338 5000 or visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com