Interview: Abigail Adriano – Playing Kim in Miss Saigon is a dream come true

Playing Kim in Miss Saigon, Abigail Adriano is excited about the upcoming Adelaide season

Miss Saigon, often described as one of the greatest musicals of all time, has won 70 major theatre awards including two Olivier Awards, three Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards. From the creators of Les Misérables (Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg), Miss Saigon has been seen by 38 million people and performed in 15 different languages, in over 32 countries and 350 cities.

Cameron Mackintosh’s latest production, in partnership with GWB Entertainment, has been wowing audiences in Sydney and Melbourne and will be opening at the Adelaide Festival Theatre on January 2, 2024. This week, three of the show’s leads, Nigel Huckle (in the role of Chris), Kerrie Anne Greenland (in the role of Ellen) and Abigail Adriano (in the role of Kim) flew into Adelaide for a special media launch performance — and it was nothing short of breath-taking.

Glam Adelaide was fortunate recently to talk with Abigail Adriano who is playing the role of a lifetime, Kim, in Miss Saigon. Abigail was last seen by Adelaide audiences playing the role of Alice in Tim Minchin’s Matilda the Musical

Abigail spoke to Glam about where her love of music and performing stemmed from.

“I grew up singing at church with my big Filipino family, but I think I always knew that I loved it a little bit more than everybody else. My mom tells me that before I could walk, that I was already singing and shaking my hips, and it took 18 months before I could walk. So that says something.”

Abigail made the choice a while ago to focus on her academics and began studying law, however she shared with us how she couldn’t turn down the opportunity to put that all on hold and audition for Miss Saigon.

“I actually had no idea that Miss Saigon was coming to Australia until the day before the auditions were closing. At this point in my life I was really focused on academics as I was studying law and about to get through my exam period. Suddenly my singing teacher contacted me about the auditions and that the self tape auditions closed the next day. I just completely freaked out as I had spent one year focusing on law. I did perform when I was a kid, so it wasn’t unfamiliar to me.

“It has been several since I’ve been in an audition room. The last time I did a show, it was the national tour Matilda the Musical, and that was in 2015. I put my blood, sweat and tears into that self tape. I just was so completely over the moon that I finally got a call back for a live audition. Then in the last round, when I saw Cameron Mackintosh’s face in the room I realised something was up.”

We asked Abigail what it is about Miss Saigon that she loves.

“There are so many things I love about the show. I think one thing that I can say for sure is that this is my favourite musical score of all time. I think even without watching the stage production, if you listen to the music, it’s so good, so well written, so sweeping, so lush, to the point that it can make you cry without even seeing anything performed on stage. So in itself, the music is something that I admire so much. Being able to find the internal world of Kim has become a newfound love for me. The rehearsal process was challenging, but challenging in the best way possible. I think that’s another thing that I fell in love with Miss Saigon is that the way that we tell the story comes from a place of such raw human emotion. I think, unlike any other musical, Miss Saigon unfortunately brings the realities and emotional tolls of the human experience. Learning about that as an actor was probably the most amazing experience for me at this age as well.”

The Australian cast of Miss Saigon is nothing short of brilliant.

“When I first met Seann Miley Moore, who’s our engineer here at the auditions, he gave me great energy and presence. People say the show is a spectacle, but I think Seann himself is the spectacle. He is such a professional, but also he is so whimsical and so spontaneous about everything he does, so being able to work alongside him is incredible. Nigel Huckle, who plays Chris, is such a gentleman and we have become very good friends. He really has pushed me to find my own confidence as an actor.”

Abigail cannot wait to open Miss Saigon in Adelaide in January 2024 and share this magical and moving story with audiences here.

Miss Saigon is one of those musical blockbusters that I know Adelaide would just absolutely love. From the production design to the music and to the amazing love story, I think it’s just going to grip everyone so much. We have had such an incredible response from audiences so far.”

Miss Saigon opens at the Adelaide Festival Theatre on January 2 for a limited season. Tickets are on sale now. For tickets and further details visit: .

Photo credit: Eugene Hyland

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