re: Inspiring show
Posted by: sf 11:40 am EST 11/22/22
In reply to: Inspiring show - peter3053 04:48 pm EST 11/21/22

Speaking of Miss Saigon and empathy, the original production's use of footage of real Vietnamese street children - the abandoned Vietnamese children of American soldiers - as set-dressing behind a vapid, fauxspirational, utterly manipulative howler of a song about their plight was crass, insensitive, ugly, exploitative, and tasteless in the extreme.

And the use - now corrected, and the only revision in the recent-ish revivals that was an improvement over the original text - of made-up gobbledegook in place of Vietnamese in the Act One wedding sequence was inexcusable. And if I could see, as a not-particularly-"woke" 16-year-old from a very white suburb in the arse end of north-west England, that the yellowface makeup in the London production was just plain wrong, and that while casting Jonathan Pryce as a *Eurasian* character was possibly justifiable (though the make-up was not), casting all-white Keith Burns as Thuy was indefensible, then it probably occurred to at least some members of the production team too. And yet they did it anyway.

There's a lot I like about Miss Saigon, actually, and I will try to get to Sheffield to see their revival. Casting Joanna Ampil as the Engineer is a fascinating choice (she was *great* as Bloody Mary in Chichester's brilliant revival of South Pacific last year), and it looks as if the production team are very aware that there are elements of the show that need to be handled very carefully. Much as I like a lot of the show, though, it *is* a deeply problematic piece; given who New Earth Theatre are and what they do, it is not surprising they chose to distance themselves from a theatre that is reviving it.

And having said THAT - on the Sheffield Theatres website, Robert Hastie and Anthony Lau - the Artstic Director and Associate Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres - have posted a blog article outlining why they programmed the show and how they intend to approach it, and it makes me more curious to see what they do with it. Link below:
Link Sheffield Theatres - Programming Miss Saigon

Previous: Inspiring show - peter3053 04:48 pm EST 11/21/22
Next: re: Inspiring show - peter3053 03:20 pm EST 11/23/22

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