I’ve come to have high expectations of Scalby School productions, having watched them for the past three years.
This year’s presentation of Miss Saigon did not disappoint.
Having never seen the musical before, I had a rough idea of what to expect - a love story set against the backdrop of the Vietnam war - but didn’t know exactly how the tale would unfold.
I was drawn in straight away by the compelling performance and strong vocals of Hannah Walker, who plays the female lead, Kim.
Throughout the play she is a joy to watch and listen to, with a stage presence and voice beyond her years.
As her relationship with American GI Chris (Callum Marshall) unfolds, the pair develop a tender and believable bond, with a passionate and strong performance by Marshall.
Also notable in their performances were Alexandra Asquith as Gigi and Henry Baxter as The Engineer, the lovable rogue who will do anything to get into the USA.
Baxter has an easy charm yet manages to convey a darker side, which belies his cheeky character and innocent looks.
I was also impressed by Kaya Hutchinson, who plays Ellen, with her emotional portrayal of a wife who learns her husband is still in love with someone else.
During the scene where Kim confronts Ellen and asks her to take her beloved son Tam to America, you could have heard a pin drop.
Another scene which stood out, and even brought a tear to my eye, was when Kim sings to little Tam and comforts him, saying she would lay down her life for him.
The performance, which builds to a tragic denouement, left the audience cheering, with many on their feet. Another great success for Scalby School.