Opera Australia’s production of Miss Saigon, currently gracing the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House, is an awe-inspiring spectacle that masterfully weaves a gripping plot with exceptional direction, a lavish set, and standout performances. This musical journey is a testament to the powerful impact of live theatre and marks a triumphant return of a beloved classic to Australia’s iconic stages.
The show’s plot, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, navigates the heart-wrenching tale of love, sacrifice, and the enduring human spirit. Miss Saigon follows the intertwined destinies of characters caught in the turmoil of war, bringing forth themes of hope, loss, and the price of survival. The emotional rollercoaster of the narrative is delivered with precision, showcasing the meticulous direction by Laurence Connor. His expertise is evident in the seamless flow of the storyline, ensuring that every scene resonates with the audience’s emotions.
What truly distinguishes this production is the opulent set that could only be realised by Opera Australia. The Joan Sutherland Theatre is transformed into a multidimensional canvas where every inch of the stage and orchestra pit is utilised with finesse. The set design effortlessly transports the audience from the bustling streets of Saigon to the chaos of war-torn landscapes. This immersive experience is a testament to the creative team’s dedication to storytelling through visual grandeur.
Opera Australia’s production of Miss Saigon is further elevated by the multidimensional ensemble that brings the world of the musical to life. The ensemble’s collective talent and energy radiate throughout the production, enhancing the storytelling by embodying various characters and adding depth to the scenes. Their synchronised movements, harmonious vocals, and compelling stage presence contribute to the immersive experience, creating a rich tapestry of emotions and visuals.
Nigel Huckle’s portrayal of Chris and Kerrie Anne Greenland’s Ellen are highlights of this show. Their chemistry and emotional depth infuse their characters with authenticity, making their journey all the more poignant. As the central character, Kim, newcomer Abigail Adriano delivers a brilliant performance that captures the character’s vulnerability and strength.
However, the show-stealing performance belongs to Seann Miley Moore, the most versatile performer known on the Australian stage. Moore’s portrayal is a tour de force, a true embodiment of theatrical dynamism. Their ability to seamlessly switch from the hard-handed pimp to the desperate refugee, each demanding distinct emotions and personas, is a testament to their extraordinary talent.
Miss Saigon marks a triumphant return of a musical classic to Australia’s iconic stages, and this production stands as one of the most memorable theatrical experiences of the decade. As the curtains closed on this remarkable production, audiences were left not only entertained but also profoundly moved by the portrayal of human resilience, love, and the enduring pursuit of hope amidst the chaos of war.
– The other Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig is an international performer and has established himself as a trusted theatre specialist on the Sydney Arts Scene. While he understands the technical side of theatre, Dan writes for the everyday theatregoer (unlike some of those more prominent publications). When not in the audience, he loves to travel the world trying new gin. Follow him on all the socials @talldancraig
Miss Saigon runs for 2 hours 40 mins (with 20 min interval) and plays at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House through 13 October 2023. Tickets are available through Sydney Opera House.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were guests of the Opera Australia.
Image credit: Opera Australia.