Little Theatre Company

Live theatre in the heart of Burton upon Trent

Miss Saigon (School Edition)

by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg

Performed: April 2014

(LTC Youth)

Miss Saigon (School Edition) by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg

Review by Bill Pritchard.

Who needs the West End? Not Burton’s theatre-lovers.

They can get the biggest shows delivered to their doorstep in style.

This week Little Theatre Youth are treading the boards at the town’s Brewhouse arts centre in Miss Saigon – meaning townsfolk can get to see the show; even before it begins another run in London.

The musical, which uses Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly as a starting point, was created by Claude Michel and Alain Boublil with lyrics written by Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr and is the second hit musical from the pens of Michel and Boublil – the first was of course Les Miserables – also performed by LTC Youth in 2009 and 2012.

Miss Saigon tells the story of the ill-fated love affair between an American soldier, Chris, and a Vietnamese bar girl, Kim, during the chaos surrounding the fall of Saigon.

Once again artistic director John Bowness and his talented team from the Little Theatre’s adult members put on a stunning show which has managed to raise the bar a notch higher in what we have come to expect from this company’s youngsters.

Brilliantly led by Grace Clarke and Tom Dent as the lovers at the heart of the story the actors take us on an emotional roller coaster ride through the dark heart of one of America’s worst periods in history.

More than ably supported by Jack Hawkins, Georga Ratcliffe – who shines as Ellen, Chris’ American wife, Jack Dent, Shannon Lenton and Tom Kounnas the duo’s tragic tale unwinds through some powerful songs.

The ensemble – who take on a variety of roles – never put a foot wrong and contribute some powerful and emotional singing.

A big hand must be given to the stage crew who cope amazingly well with a very technical set – and also bring to life one of the most iconic scenes of the fall of Saigon of the last helicopter leaving the American Embassy.

A night of great theatre and with a friendly and cheap bar, I repeat. Who needs the West End?

 - Bill Pritchard

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