Miss Saigon – Bradford Alhambra
FLYING back into the Alhambra Theatre for its five-week stint is the very popular Miss Saigon.
Judging by the nearly full auditorium I am probably preaching to converted, but if anyone has already bought tickets you are in for a real treat. 
I am biased as Miss Saigon is one of my favourite musicals: it's up there with the likes of Les Miserables for impact and an emotionally-charged evening. 
Miss Saigon is based on the opera Madame Butterfly and this is evident when almost all of the show is sung, with only a few spoken words.
The show’s music is outstanding and the cast are amazing in delivering and doing justice to the fantastic score. 
Sooha Kim gave a stunning performance as Kim, capturing all the emotions needed to have the audience hanging on her every word.
Ashley Gilmore was strong and dependable as leading man, and understudy Rob Herron was solid as John, opening the second half with the very moving song Bui Doi, which had everyone reaching for the tissues. 
The show’s stand-out performance came from Christian Rey Marbella as The Engineer: I have had the pleasure of seeing him in this role before, but he is a master playing the role with just enough slime, but also charm to win the hearts of the appreciative audience. 
Some scenes play on your heartstrings and others are breathtaking – one minute you are on a high with the show’s opening number The Heat Is On In Saigon, but that’s just the start of the rollercoaster ride.
The songs seems to move along a little quicker than I had remembered, and some of the diction was lost, but this is a small grumble in what was a fabulous evening.  
I am not the biggest fan of dances, but The Morning of the Dragon was so well choreographed you couldn't help but enjoy it, and the movement of the gates and barriers was seemless to help deliver the iconic scene of the helicopter coming to pick up the American troops. 
The whole cast and crew of this production should be very proud – they have a true gem of a show full stop.
If you already have tickets enjoy this outstanding production: those who don’t need to sell their grandma to get one.
* Until October 20. Visit bradford-theatres.co.uk or call 01274 432000 to book tickets.
Dean Harness