Joanna Ampil, who has played Kim in the London, Sydney, U.K. touring, and 10th anniversary productions of Miss Saigon, has been cast in the traditionally male role of The Engineer in Sheffield Theatre's 2023 staging of the international hit musical.
Presented by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh, Miss Saigon will be reimagined by Sheffield Artistic Director Robert Hastie and RTYDS Associate Artistic Director Anthony Lau with designs by Ben Stones and lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun.
The first regional non-replica production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s musical in the U.K. will begin performances July 8, 2023, on the Crucible stage. This retelling of Madame Butterfly set during the Vietnam War will continue through August 12 with an official opening set for July 13. Additional casting will be announced.
Artistic Director Hastie said, "As we reach the culmination of our 50th anniversary year, we are proud to announce new productions that continue our quest to give Sheffield audiences thrilling experiences they can only get in the theatre. A new production of Miss Saigon—the first in the U.K. to be given permission to explore new approaches to staging and casting since the original 1989 production—will light up the Crucible in summer 2023. Anthony and I are thrilled to be co-directing Boublil and Schönberg’s iconic show, and could not be more excited to be welcoming Joanna Ampil to Sheffield to play The Engineer."
Co-director Lau added, "Robert Hastie and I are thrilled to be directing a new version of the musical, Miss Saigon. With one of the most extraordinary scores in musical theatre history, we are looking forward to offering a fresh perspective on a musical that so many people have an opinion on. We want this project to ignite conversation and Cameron has encouraged us to be bold and original in our approach. The subject matter compels us to delve sensitively and deeply into the complications of two cultures entwined. At a time when it feels like there is more division than ever in society, epic stories like this give us the opportunity to embrace nuance and complexity in exploring the human experience."
Following its London premiere, Miss Saigon opened at the Broadway Theatre in April 1991, subsequently earning 11 Tony nominations and winning three for co-stars Lea Salonga, Jonathan Pryce, and Hinton Battle. The musical played 19 previews and 4,092 regular performances before closing in January 2001. A 2017 Broadway revival featured Eva Noblezada, who was Tony-nominated for her performance as Kim.
Also announced for the new season is Eve Leigh's Wildfire Road, which will be produced by Sheffield Theatres and staged in the intimate and flexible Playhouse in March. Directed by Laura Keefe, the environmental thriller concerns a highjacked plane and a disparate group of passengers who try to make sense of their situation as the world burns below.
For more information about the new season, click here.