In a coup for Sheffield Theatres, the company is to revive blockbuster West End musical Miss Saigon.
Sheffield has hit a special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh to produce the show – making it the first original regional production. Boublil and Schönberg’s hit musical retelling of Madame Butterfly is set during the Vietnam war.
The show is to be reimagined for the production, with Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director Robert Hastie at the helm plus RTYDS Associate Artistic Director Anthony Lau co-directing. Design will be by Ben Stones, and lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun.
The reimagining has already started with casting: Joanna Ampil, who played Kim in Cameron Mackintosh’s London, Sydney, UK touring and 10th anniversary productions of Miss Saigon, is to play The Engineer.
The show will run in the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield from 8 July to 12 August 2023.
Also part of the 2023 season will be Wildfire Road, a new play by Eve Leigh and directed by Laura Keefe. The play is billed as an environmental thriller about a highjacked plane and a disparate group of passengers who try to make sense of their situation as the world burns below.
It will run 4 to 18 March 2023 in the newly named Tanya Moiseiwitsch Playhouse, renamed in honour of Sheffield Theatres’ founding designer, Tanya Moiseiwitsch.
They join other productions previously announced for 2023. In the Playhouse, Birds and Bees, a new play by Charlie Josephine (25 January – 11 February 2023); and in the Crucible, a new production marking the 80th anniversary of Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan, in a new version by writer Nina Segal, directed by Sheffield Theatres RTYDS Associate Artistic Director Anthony Lau (11 March – 1 April 2023).
Still up in Sheffield Theatres in 2022 are – in the Crucible, Much Ado About Nothing (until 24 September 2022) before touring the UK; Steve Waters’ double-bill of climate emergency plays The Contingency Plan: On the Beach and Resilience 14 October – 5 November 2022); and at Christmas, the critically acclaimed Sheffield musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge by Richard Hawley and Chris Bush returns 10 December – 21 January 2023) before transferring to the National Theatre in 2023.
And in the Tanya Moiseiwitsch Playhouse, Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo and Franco Rame will get a new adaptation by BAFTA-nominated comedian and writer Tom Basden, starring BAFTA-winning actor Daniel Rigby(23 September – 15 October 2022).
Sheffield Theatres – leaders’ quotes
Robert Hastie, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres:
“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 UK 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. And as ever at Sheffield Theatres the classic sits alongside the brand new, with a mind-bending new play from Eve Leigh taking audiences to new heights in the Playhouse, our flexible, intimate space recently renamed in honour of our founding designer, Tanya Moiseiwitsch. With these new productions joining a packed season, Life of Pi playing in the West End, Much Ado About Nothing about to depart on a national tour, and Standing at the Sky’s Edge arriving at the National Theatre in 2023, we are proud to be bringing the world to Sheffield Theatres and Sheffield theatre to the world.”
Anthony Lau, RTYDS Associate Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres:
“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.”
Dan Bates, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres:
“The 2023 season combines everything we do so well at Sheffield Theatres – from nurturing new talent to re-imagining classic musicals. At the moment, we are about to embark on a UK tour with Much Ado About Nothing, whilst having our two upcoming productions deep in rehearsals: the riotously funny Accidental Death of an Anarchist in the Playhouse and the climate crisis double-bill The Contingency Plan in the Crucible. We continue to welcome more and more of our Sheffield community and those from further afield back to the theatre for a great night out and the team are in preparation for Christmas this year. Jack and the Beanstalk, our annual co-production with Evolution pantomimes, takes over the Lyceum whilst charming children’s show Jack Frost and the Search for Winter runs in the Playhouse. We are incredibly excited to welcome back to the Crucible stage Standing at the Sky’s Edge for the Christmas period, so our buildings will be brimming with potentially around 85000 audience members in the Crucible, Playhouse and Lyceum over the festive period.”