Opera Australia has confirmed that Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Miss Saigon will premiere at the Sydney Opera House in August 2023.

Casting for the 42 roles in the new Australian production is underway, with a full cast announcement anticipated to be made in April. Tickets go on sale on Monday 20 March.

The decision to stage the musical is a divisive one. Miss Saigon has generated controversy since it premiered in London in 1989, with charges of racism, misogyny and Orientalism regularly levelled at a show which, during its first Broadway incarnation, was likened by one critic to a “minstrel show” for the casting of a heavily made-up actor Jonathan Pryce in an Asian role.

Sooha Kim and Gerald Santos in the 2017 UK tour production of Miss Saigon. Photo © Johan Persson.

Since then, though the casting of Asian actors has become the norm, Miss Saigon‘s depiction of Asian women has been criticised by activists and academics.

In 2022, the British company New Earth Theatre pulled a scheduled production from Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre when it learned the venue would be staging Miss Saigon. “The damaging tropes, misogyny and...