City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Miss Saigon (School Edition), Paradise in Augustine's, Review

By Gordon Clayton - Posted on 06 August 2014

NYMT-Miss Saigon
Show details
Norfolk Youth Music Theatre
Running time: 
Adrian Connell (Director), Nicola Myers (choreography)
Megan Artherton (Kim), Calum Black (Chris), Iverson Yabut (Engineer), Jess Stewart (Ellen), Lewis Aves (John)

It may not be the Sale of the Century, but the opportunity to see a production of ‘Miss Saigon’ from Norwich for £12 must be the bargain of this year’s fringe. It may be the school edition, but the maturity of performance from the young members of Norfolk Youth Music Theatre raises the bar once again in what is a too short visit to Edinburgh.

The musical by the same writers as ‘Les Miserables’ Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby Jnr is an emotional journey of love and life during the Vietnam War that the principals convincingly portray throughout the production.

While the scenery does not slide seamlessly into place, the audience were oblivious to the scene changes and you were conscious of the audience leaning forward to catch every nuance and expression. All the great numbers are included even if there seemed to be changes in the order and performed by the cast backed up by their own live orchestra.

Chris played by Callum Black shows amazing depth in handling the relationships with both the women in his life. He has a number of tender songs and others where he has to use the full range of his voice.

Kim (Megan Artherton) started tentatively as you would expect as the shy girl being introduced to the bar girls but after that she absolutely put in a powerful performance of great quality and must be destined for further success.

Just when you thought that the cast had two great leads, Lewis Aves (John) led on Bui-doi with a voice to die for. Ellen (Jess Stewart may enter the fray late on but again a great voice with plenty of emotion. The Engineer despite the character flaws is at the heart of the comic numbers and Iverson Yabut did not disappoint especially in his acting and that wonderful number ‘the American dream’.

Sometimes it’s the ensemble that sets the amateurs from the professionals but not in this production whether they were bar girls, villagers, soldiers or cheerleaders they changed costumes and characters without any problem.

The show is well dressed and lit and one item of direction caught the eye and that was when the Americans pulled out leaving the girls behind. The use of the fencing worked really well and it takes something to put on a show of this scale in a confined space.
To NYMT- Haste ye Back!

Runs to 8th Aug, 18.25 and on Sat 9th, 14.10, £12 (£9.50).