BWW Reviews: MISS SAIGON's Return To The West End, Prince Edward Theatre
The biggest chopper in Soho is back as Miss Saigon opens at the Prince Edward Theatre, but is it still a draw?
Well, it's still a visual feast, and it proudly boasts a handful of incredible performances.
Jon Jon Briones is the show's stand-out, stealing every scene his Engineer comes close to, bringing freshness and exuberance to a role he knows so very well.
Eva Noblezada's Kim is strong, yet fragile and all the more remarkable given this is her first professional role.
Rachelle Ann Go is superb as Gigi - it is just a shame she gets so little to do; and that's a problem also encountered by Tamsin Carroll as Ellen, always an underwritten character and difficult to empathise with, despite the regular tweaks to her solo song (now 'Maybe', replacing 'Now That I've Seen Her').
However, Alistair Brammer's Chris largely fails to make us connect with his damaged Marine, despite some impressive intense anger in the second act, and both he and John (Hugh Maynard) struggle with diction, exacerbated by some amplification issues.
As for that iconic helicopter scene? It fails to land. Literally. A portion of helicopter, piloted by a mannequin, hangs above the stage at a jaunty angle before being raised up again. It's still impressive, but is not the jaw-dropping spectacle you remember; perhaps a handy metaphor for the entire production.