The weather forecast might say otherwise but the heat is on in Birmingham this week as Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical Miss Saigon landed in the city to begin its epic 9-week run at Birmingham Hippodrome yesterday.
Arriving at the theatre in 16 45-foot trailers on Sunday 23rd July, a 45-strong team of production staff and backstage crew have worked around the clock for two and a half full days and nights to bring this epic production to the Birmingham Hippodrome stage in countdown to opening night.
Landing in Birmingham as part of a major new UK tour this July, this new production of Miss Saigon features an international cast of 38 plus 15-piece orchestra – one of the largest currently touring in the UK.
Since its London premiere in 1989, Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s West End and Broadway blockbuster Miss Saigon has become one of the most successful musicals in history. Last seen on the Birmingham Hippodrome stage in 2005, this new UK touring production stars Red Concepcion as ‘The Engineer’, Sooha Kim as ‘Kim’, Ashley Gilmour as ‘Chris’, Zoë Doano as ‘Ellen’, Ryan O’Gorman as ‘John’ and Gerald Santos as ‘Thuy’. At certain performances ‘The Engineer’ will be played by Christian Rey Marbella, and ‘Kim’ will be played by Joreen Bautista. Marsha Songcome will play ‘Gigi’ until 1 August when Na-Young Jeon will take over the role.
Winner of a record-breaking nine Whatsonstage awards including Best show, Miss Saigon tells the story of the last days of the Vietnam War, in which a 17 year-old Kim is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American GI named Chris but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For 3 years Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he’s fathered a son.
The original Broadway production of Miss Saigon opened on April 11, 1991 with what was the largest advance sale in Broadway history ($37 million). The show went on to play for nearly ten years and 4,063 performances seen by more than 5.9 million people.
Miss Saigon has been performed in 28 countries, over 300 cities in 15 different languages, has won over 40 awards including 2 Olivier Awards, 3 Tony Awards, and 4 Drama Desk Awards and been seen by over 35 million people worldwide. In March, this production of Miss Saigon opened on Broadway where it plays to nightly ovations.
When the smash-hit run of this production opened in London in May 2014 to record-breaking advance sales and critical acclaim, Dominic Cavendish in The Daily Telegraph wrote, “This thrilling new production spills out beyond the theatre and speaks directly to the times we live in”. The show swept the board at the 2015 Whatsonstage.com awards winning a record breaking nine awards, the most awards ever won by a single show in the 15-year history of the awards including: Best West End Show and Best Revival of a Musical.
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
Behind-the-scenes of Miss Saigon In Numbers…
About The Production….
- 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).
- 10 Nationalities feature in the 38-strong cast which include British, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Singaporean, Japanese, Filipino, New Zealand, Dutch and Swedish.
- Over the course of the show’s run in Birmingham, the cast of Miss Saigon will spend over 162 hours on stage spread across 69 individual performances.
- 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 (45 foot long) 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.
- Birmingham Hippodrome is home to some of the best backstage facilities in the UK. As well as being home to over 30 Dressing Rooms, a natural spring which pumps out 2-4 litres of water every minute and 5 lorry bays for unloading set and props, the Main Stage comes equipped with 81 fly bars for flying scenery in and out of the stage. Each of these fly bars is capable of supporting 150kg in weight, that’s the equivalent of a small family car!
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