Cameron Mackintosh’s epic production of MISS SAIGON lands in Manchester next week for an eight week run. This spectacular new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical is currently touring the UK and Ireland and opens at Manchester’s Palace Theatre on 21 March.
It is one of the largest productions on tour with a cast of 38, orchestra of 15 and a technical team of 32 who bring the show to life 8 times a week. It takes 16 45-foot trailers to move the production from one venue to the next.
The show finishes in one venue on the Saturday and opens in the next venue on the Wednesday, just 4 days later. Over 100 people are involved in transferring the show and the team work around the clock to make it possible.
Here are 20 more facts about this incredible musical…
The MISS SAIGON touring company includes 38 adult cast members, from 10 nationalities including British, Filipino, Thai, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, Singaporian, Swedish, Dutch and Malaysian.
- It takes around 22 hours to take the show out of a venue and 3 days to put it in the next venue, working 24 hours a day.
- 100 production and local crew are involved in putting the show in to a venue.
- The wardrobe team do 104 loads of washing per week.
- There are over 200 pairs of shoes in the show.
- The bikinis worn by the girls in the American Dream number have a kilo of beads on each one.
- There are 16 costume changes for each member of the female ensemble throughout the show.
- The G.I. boy’s flak jackets and helmets are all original and have been used in action.
- There are a total of 60 wigs in the show.
- 16 different smoke machines and 12 fans create the atmosphere in the show, 6 of which come through tiny holes in the show floor to allow haze to appear in accurate places.
- There are 5 follow-spots on the show, 3 right at the back of the auditorium and 2 that are just behind the proscenium which the operators have to be in a harnesses to climb up to. The operators are incredibly busy in the show with over 580 different cues to follow the cast around. Some of these cues are so subtle that it’s hard to even know how they’re being lit, not an easy thing to achieve!
- This tour has more lighting elements than the Broadway and London versions of the show.
- There are 600 props used in the show. Each prop has to be accounted for before each performance. This is carried out by the Assistant Stage Managers using a check sheet.
- There are 15 members of the orchestra – Instruments include 8 Asian flutes, piccolo and Flute.There are 77 different percussion instruments in total. Unusual instruments include skull drums, ankle bells, singing bowls, Thai chap cymbals and kabuki blocks.
- There are 42 radio microphones worn by the cast. These are hidden in hair, wigs and even hats.
- There are 44 AA batteries used per show. These are all rechargeable batteries and there are 3 sets of batteries that are constantly being cycled. If we didn’t use rechargeable batteries, by the time the show arrived in Manchester, over 12,000 batteries will have been used.
- There are specific speakers overhead, onstage and on the helicopter itself to provide the audio effect of the helicopter flight.
- By the end of the tour, the helicopter will have travelled an Olympic running track over 50 times, that’s over 20,000metres!
- MISS SAIGON has been performed in 32 countries, in 369 cities, in 15 different languages.
- The musical has won over 70 awards including 2 Olivier Awards, 3 Tony Awards, and 4 Drama Desk Awards and has been seen by over 36 million people worldwide.