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New Earth Theatre Pulls Play From Sheffield Crucible Over Staging of MISS SAIGON

The company says the show contains "damaging tropes, misogyny and racism"

New Earth Theatre Pulls Play From Sheffield Crucible Over Staging of MISS SAIGON

British East and South East Asian Theatre Company, New Earth Theatre, has announced that they will longer be bringing their production of WORTH to Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, due to the theatre's to stage Miss Saigon at the same time.

A statement from Co-Producers New Earth Theatre and Storyhouse said:

"We are disappointed to announce that our upcoming production of WORTH will not be coming to the Crucible in June 2023. This is due to Sheffield Theatres' decision to produce Miss Saigon in the same period.

Miss Saigon remains a very contentious musical since its release over thirty years ago, having hurt and angered many viewers due to its highly problematic narrative and portrayal of the Vietnam War and Vietnamese people. The damaging tropes, misogyny and racism inherent in the show completely contradict New Earth and Storyhouse's values and beliefs, where we centre stories from a BESEA perspective in order to portray a truer understanding of that experience.

We recognise concerns from our team that working alongside a musical that perpetuates deeply held notions of Asian inferiority would impact their wellbeing. Our commitment to our cast, creatives and technical staff needs to come first.

We acknowledge that there are a multitude of opinions in this conversation and would like to thank those people we have talked to already for their honesty.

Sheffield Theatres have heard our reasons for withdrawal and we are working on a means of engaging in a wider conversation that encourages them to address their tackling of the problematic and complex issues raised by this production in a transparent way."

Sheffield Theatres issued a statement in response:

"After respectful and considered discussions with Sheffield Theatres, New Earth and Storyhouse have taken the decision to withdraw their forthcoming UK tour of Worth from the Crucible Theatre due to concerns over the programming of Miss Saigon for summer 2023. We respect New Earth's decision and hope Sheffield audiences will be able to enjoy the work of this important company in the future. Respect and care for all of our artists, staff and visiting companies will always be a priority for us.

There is no denying that past versions of this story have provoked strong reactions and feelings. We have approached this new production sensitive to this and believe this is a chance for us to engage in a fresh way with a majority East and South East Asian company reframing the story. Both in the lead up to the announcement of this project and throughout this ongoing process, the creative team led by Robert Hastie and Anthony Lau, have been in close conversation with members of the BESEA community and are keen to continue discussing their plans with concerned artists to keep a positive and inclusive dialogue open."




From This Author - Aliya Al-Hassan

Aliya Al-Hassan is UK Managing Editor of BroadwayWorld. A London-based theatre critic and journalist, she has a life-long passion for the arts, with a focus on theatre and opera. She is a... (read more about this author)


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