Miss Saigon: What the London critics say … | Inquirer Lifestyle

Miss Saigon: What the London critics say …

Charles Spencer, The Telegraph: “Superbly slick, powerfully acted and splendidly sung revival … The 18-year-old Eva Noblezada is extraordinarily vulnerable and touching as Kim, and her raw, deeply felt performance and soaring voice lend the show its heart. Alistair Brammer gives a powerful performance as her beloved Chris, though fails to generate much warmth, while Jon Jon Briones is memorably seedy as the unscrupulous Engineer and gets maximum value from his big number ‘The American Dream,’ the one moment in the show of Broadway razzle dazzle, albeit accompanied by dark sardonic humor.”


Michael Billington, The Guardian: “Survives very well as a piece of musical storytelling and as a public spectacle … The show’s satirical quality is best embodied by the character of the Engineer … excellently played by Jonathan Pryce in the original, but here Jon Jon Briones makes him an even grubbier, sleazier figure who is the victim both of his background and pathetic fantasies that see him in the penultimate number, The American Dream, pleasuring himself on the bonnet of a Cadillac … Schönberg’s score becomes generic and rhetorical in the big romantic numbers. They are, however, very well sung by Eva Noblezada as Kim and Alistair Brammer as Chris … This is a successful variation on an old tale and put across with exemplary vigor.”


Quentin Letts, Daily Mail: “Staged with such insistent extravagance that it bludgeons its way to success… With all the narrative clutter of the swanky staging and a fiddly-diddly score, the performers have little chance to establish themselves. But then comes Engineer’s greedy, gaudy (and arguably ungenerous to immigrants) fantasy of emigrating to America. Mr. Briones finally hits the mark with a delivery of acid satire— and the show finally has artistic lift-off, just like that whirlybird from the US embassy roof in Saigon in 1975.”


Michael Coveney, What’sOnStage: “Neither as good as, nor better than, Nicholas Hytner’s 1989 operatic original. In one area, though, it is its equal: in the casting of 18-year-old Eva Noblezada—an American of Filipino and Mexican extraction—as Kim, whose astonishing voice is flawless in a wide register and whose acting is assured and touching … The show first takes off when Kim duets with his wife back home, Tamsin Carroll’s full-voiced Ellen, in ‘I Still Believe,’ one of the few numbers by Schönberg and Alain Boublil that rivals the score of the same writers’ ‘Les Mis’. Jon Jon Briones delivers the showstopper [The American Dream] well enough, trading the padded rickshaw for a luxury limo as the chorus swap peaked peasant hats for high kicks and waistcoats and Red Square regimentation for an equally savagely drilled Busby Berkeley routine.”