I have a long established tradition of only doing plays where the main characters die at the end: The Cripple of Inishmaan (sort of), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Jesus Christ Superstar - there’s a distinct pattern here. Somehow we even managed to do it in the Taming of the Shrew. So what I thought was “I really need to branch out and try something a little more light-hearted."

Miss Saigon seemed like the logical choice. It’s a heart-warming story of exploitation, betrayal and death set in the last days of the Vietnam War. One to really get your toes tapping.

It was probably the most complicated production I’ve ever been involved with, in terms of set design, lighting, helicopters and what have you. From the audience it was probably spectacular. The reviews have certainly been good. And the principle cast were sensational.

Unlike the Taming of the Shrew season which was stretched out over a month, Miss Saigon was gone in five blurry days during which we pretty much lived in Schonell Theatre. Just as well, I’m not sure I would have lasted another week. Being an extra/part of the set in a show written to depict people in their worst possible light takes an emotional toll out of you. And the helipad was really heavy, particularly when the wheels jammed.

You would think a show like that might leave me wanting a break from theatre for a while. Well… it did, but as always the next production is just around the corner.

Make of that what you will.



Garry with 2 Rs

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