By Benjamin Coren
Review: Miss Saigon
Miss Saigon is one of the longest-running musicals in Broadway history and it’s all set to return to the West End this year and prior to that, the Ariel Company Theatre have put on their own production of the show at The Capitol, Horsham.
The story follows a recently orphaned girl named Kim who falls in love with a US marine named Chris, shortly before he leaves Vietnam in 1975. It follows her journey to be reunited with Chris, and highlights the evacuation of the last Americans from Saigon and the rise of a new communist regime.
This touching love story was beautifully recreated by the theatre group, and showcased some fantastic performances from the talented young individuals.
The show boasted grand sets, and I was particularly impressed by the use of light and sound to create the illusion of helicopters flying overhead.
Lead members of the cast were excellent with stand out performances from William Carey (17) as Chris and Tara Lucas (18) as Kim, the onstage chemistry between the two was authentic, touching and I found their story engaging and poignant.
A mention must also be made for Peter Heppell (18) as the Engineer, the sleazy but likeable owner of Dreamland. Peter added a touch of humour to the role, and his stand out number ‘The American Dream’ was a great spectacle matching the quality of shows I have seen by older performers.
I particularly enjoyed the flashback scene, ‘The Fall of Saigon’ in which the Vietcong approach Saigon, and the story details how Chris and Kim were split up.
This exciting, sad and dark scene really captured the disarray and panic of the situation. With the uncomfortable screams from the Vietnamese piercing the air, and Kim and Chris being quite literally pulled apart from each other, this was very well executed with some great set design and choreography.
18-year-old Alex Ward who starred in the show in the ensemble choreographed set movement.
I thoroughly enjoyed this high quality performance from the young theatre group and I look forward to their next production.