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Looking Back at 31 Years Ago When Miss Saigon Opened in London and Its Last Perfomance in 2014

From my post in Fil-Event in 2014

September 20, 1989 was the first time Miss Saigon performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in London's West End.  That's exactly 31 years ago.  Last 2014, I watched Miss Saigon again, and having watched it over 50 times in the past, from the opening few weeks 31 years ago, to the 10th anniversary performance in 1999, the one in 2014 was special because it was the LAST EVER night in Drury Lane, on Broadway and around the UK.

Watching the last one was my 4th time to watch the latest version and I was still falling in love with it despite the fact that I have seen it so many times. I was able to be part of the audience for the 25th anniversary gala performance as well as attend the gala party. I didn't think it could get much better than that last evening to be honest!!!

I was totally blown away by the incredible ultimate performance which for me had the perfect cast!

I still found myself crying at least 3 times during the show. It was my first time to watch Tanya Manalang as Kim. I had wanted to see her as the alternate Kim. I guess that stems from me watching Lea countless times as Kim and loving her performance but then actually loving the performance of Monique Wilson, also the alternate Kim in the original production.

I have watched Eva Nobledeza as Kim 3 times now and of course loved her performance. Particularly during the gala when she put so much energy into the role.

That last night though, I really did connect with the story of Kim emotionally through Tanya's performance. For the first time ever, I found myself crying through the scene with Thuy. Have to say I am also a big fan of Kwang Ho in his portrayal as Thuy. He captured the emotion of the role perfectly and is an outstanding vocalist as well as fine actor.

The roles of Ellen, Chris and John were perfectly captured that night by the respective actors. Once again Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi was superb, and she even acknowledged me during the curtain call which was lovely of her as did Tanya.

Awesome night it was.  And while all the theatres are still closed, I hope that one of these days, when COVID 19 is eradicated, we will all be able to watch a restage of that amazing musical we all know as Miss Saigon.

Malcolm Conlan


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