Saturday 13th January 2018, I’m at the Millenium Centre here in Cardiff Bay, more musicals to feast on today with two performances of ‘The Band’, with music and songs from Take That. Today is yet another milestone for me, the Matinee will be my 350th performance of a show at the Centre (426 in all theatres, with 152 single shows). The theatre has been a godsend for me over the last five years, helping me wind down after a hectic week in work, also keeping me sane to go with it.
This is yet another musical I have not seen before, so looking forward to watching something new. Until recently I’ve never much liked the music of Take That, but as I’ve got older I’ve realised just how good they actually are. Their recent albums have made a difference, and forced me to change my attitude, with songs like ‘The Flood’ starting things off. Also watching them live (on tv) at Hyde Park in the summer helped change my mind.
Anyway on with the show, and I have to say it’s surprisingly good. The dance routines the boys attempt are spot on and I’m very impressed with the level of singing throughout the show, from all the cast. There are quite a few funny moments during the first act, although there is one sad scene, which brings us down to earth slightly, for a few minutes. The same can be said for Act two as well, a good many scenes mixed with joy and sadness. I must also mention the storyline, which I thought to be really strong, and gave the show a lot of impetus, I even shed a few tears in some of the more sadder scenes, and mixed in with the songs being sung in the background, justified the crying.
I’ve had a fabulous day watching a new musical (twice) and thoroughly enjoying both performances. There seems to be so many brilliant shows I still have yet to see and I bet they will all be superb.
Saturday 6th January 2018, and I’m back at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff for the final two shows of Miss Saigon, before it packs up and heads for its next venue. This production has been excellent throughout, and is yet another show I will miss when it’s gone. The good news for me is the fact I’ve had the DVD of the London production for a while now, so when I get fed up and need to watch this fabulous musical again, I can.
Today as well I get the chance to see another cast change with Christian Rey Marbella playing the Engineer. Also I get one last look at the two girls playing Kim, with Joreen Bautista playing the role in the Matinee and Sooha Kim in the evening.
Today’s blog is mainly a sum up of how much enjoyment I’ve got from watching this phenomenal musical, even though I spend most of it in tears. I love the music, it’s so beautifully written. I love the fabulous voices on show from the whole cast. Some of the scenes take your breath away, especially the Helicopter scene in act two, although every scene has something special in it for me to love.
Having seen this production a total of 15 times here in Cardiff I feel as though I could never get fed up of watching ‘Miss Saigon’, it’s now become one of my favourite musicals, but then I say that about all shows I’ve seen so far. Each one has that special something about it, which makes them all just wonderful to watch. Totally fabulous production, well worth a watch next time around.
New Year’s Day 2018 and my first visit of the year to the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay for another performance of Miss Saigon. This is its final week in Cardiff before moving on, and I must say it’s been a phenomenal experience to sit in the audience so many times to watch such an amazing show burst into life in front of your very eyes. Every performance seems to get better and better as the weeks go by, shame it has to end, but at least another theatre in another part of the country can share experiences with another audience of this fabulous musical.
Today I’d like to talk about the orchestra set in the pit, delivering the music for this show. The musicians playing these iconic melodies are superb, with them playing almost non stop throughout the performance. With the whole show sung to music, these guys must be spot on, and from all I’ve seen, have been. The written music is so beautiful just to listen to, even if you don’t say a word. There are so many contrasting pieces to get to grips with, which really test any orchestra, but as usual, with any production at the Centre, these guys make it look so easy.
The orchestra consists of 15 musicians, (conducted by James McKeon), some playing various instruments, but the sound they make is incredible, you would think they had more in the pit that was actually there, and with this excellent sound system they all sound even better. I suppose being a Cameron Mackintosh production with music and lyrics from Boublil and Schonberg, then everything has to be perfect, and the Orchestra are just that.
One last thing to finish, another fantastic performance again from all the cast, so easy to watch and fabulous to go with it.