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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Miss Saigon’s Filipino actors dominate London stage awards

The Filipino actors of the West End revival of Miss Saigon led the record haul of awards at the 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards.
The Cameron Mackintosh production was the night’s big winner at the audience-votes only major theatre awards with lead Eva Noblezada winning the Best Actress in a Musical, Jon Jon Briones for Best Actor in a Musical, and Rachelle Ann Go for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical.
Miss Saigon also won four other individual awards for Kwang-Ho-Hong, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, Best Direction for Laurence Connor, Best Choreography for Bob Ayian and Geoffrey Garratt, and Best Set Design for Totite Driver and Matt Kinley.

The Miss Saigon dominance of the awards night was clinched by the Best Musical Revival and Best West End Show awards, giving the production a total of 9 WOS trophies.
The show at the Prince Edward Theatre led every category in the nominations process.
Mackintosh, who produced the original stage production at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane in 1989 said of the show’s big win, “”I’ve always known that the public knows best so I am delighted that the new Miss Saigon has swept the board with a record breaking nine awards including Best Musical Revival and Best West End Show and I’m thrilled for all our other winners as well, especially the extraordinary achievement of our four leading Asian performers winning the top acting awards.”
Miss Saigon is the story of an American marine and an orphaned Saigon lass-turned-prostitute who find comfort in each other during the Vietnam war.
The West End revival of the show marked its 25th anniversary since Lea Salonga first enthralled the theatre world as Kim.
Noblezada, picked by Mackintosh straight out of high school in North Carolina, took over the lead role of the Vietnamese teenager’s tragic character.
Manila-born actor Briones was with Salonga in the original 1989 West End production of Miss Saigon, returning to play the lead role of the engineer in the revival.
Filipino singer Rachelle Ann Go left a successful Philippine career to join the West End production.
Mackintosh said Miss Saigon’s exploration of cross-cultural relationships and misunderstandings remained more pertinent than ever.
“I always knew that this show would speak to this audience and it’s marvellous it has drawn in such a diverse audience,” said Mackintosh.

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