A recent flurry of tweets by London Theatre Direct on their Twitter page asking their followers which show they would love to see back on the London stage brought a wave of support for the poignantly tragic Miss Saigon.
The well-loved show was by far the most popular suggestion, with tweeters such as @theatreJane, @berrybram, @TracyKelleher, @everoa, @seanmmontague and @MollyAP amongst others showing their support for the choice. A follow up tweet by @theatre_direct , London Theatre Direct's official Twitter account, asking who they would want to see as the lead brought a surprisingly high number of votes for one time Pop Idol-turned West End star Gareth Gates.
Twitter follower @wazzaster said "yes please loved Miss Saigon in Manchester loved @garethgates in Les Mis also in Manchester". "Gareth would be great in Miss Saigon! His Why God Why is lovely" added @hebbyhardheart, whilst @GPGnet also tweeted their support for the ex-reality star. Not everyone was in full support of the choice however, with @TheRealGriff commenting "I think the return of Miss Saigon is long overdue. Gareth Gates as lead? Great voice but lacks acting skills sadly." Other suggestions for the role of sergeant Chris Scott were Love Never Dies star Ramin Karimloo, ex G4 singer Jonathan Ansell and Denise Van Outen's husband and West End Joseph, Lee Mead.
Based on Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon tells a similar tale of the doomed romance between a Vietnamese girl and the American GI who falls in love with her. It opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in late 1989 to widespread critical an public acclaim, closing over a decade later after over four thousand performances. The Broadway version of the show opened in 1991 and is still playing today, making it Broadway's eleventh longest-running musical. The original West End production catapulted Lea Salonga to fame as bar girl Kim and featured Jonathan Pryce as The Engineer, both of whom transferred to Broadway to open the show there. The musical has been performed in twenty five countries and 246 cities and has been translated into twelve languages. Classic songs from the show include Last Night Of The World, Sun And Moon, I Still Believe and The Heat Is On In Saigon.
Gareth Gates shot to fame in 2002 coming a shock second to winner Will Young in the debut series of Pop Idol, the predecessor to The X Factor. He has had four UK number ones and sold over 3.5 million records in the UK alone. He moved into stage work as the lead in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in 2009, before and eighteen month stint as Marius in Les Miserables, first on tour and subsequently at The Queens Theatre in the West End.
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