Arts

Interview: Seann Miley Moore – Bringing the heat to Miss Saigon

Seann Miley Moore is currently performing as The Engineer in Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon has won Adelaide’s heart during its current run at the Festival Theatre. This breath-taking, moving production is only in town until February 3 before it heads overseas to Manila.

Miss Saigon could not leave town without Glam Adelaide having the chance to speak to the incredible Seann Miley Moore, who is wowing audiences each night as The Engineer. Seann’s interpretation of The Engineer is fresh, dynamic and they pull your attention whenever they are on stage.

We were keen to hear from Seann where their love of performing came from.

“I sort of stumbled into performing. Growing up, I was heavily into sports like tennis, water polo, and swimming. However, when I moved to Australia and joined a choir, everything changed. I remember singing an Enya song in the choir –– May It Be, the blend of voices! Beautiful! –– and that experience paved the way for my journey into musical theatre. Landing the lead in West Side Story was a pivotal moment. I love love. The romance in this show and music is why I love musical theatre — The ‘Balcony Scene’…wow. Love is Real. Also my mentor Lynda O’Brien cast me as the white American. She saw through any casting and since I could sing it that’s what mattered in her eyes.”

Miss Saigon is a production that doesn’t come around every day. Seann shared with us which aspects of the show they love and connect with personally.

“My connection with Miss Saigon goes way back to my childhood when I watched it in Hong Kong. The grandness and epicness of the show left me gagged! Songs like Movie in My Mind were particularly powerful, beautiful and raw and the emotion in that song! Wow! Me and my sister would listen to that on repeat. Even now, those memories fuel my passion for the production. I loved this song so much, and I remember in theatre school I performed this as one of my monthly performance practice tests. First ever drag performance ha! Omg I need to find the tapes.”

Seann’s interpretation of The Engineer is fresh and unique. We asked Seann what their creative process was when developing the character during the rehearsal process. 

“Thank you! The character of The Engineer has been performed in a certain way for 30 years, but I wanted to infuse my own essence into it. You are now seeing The Engin-Queer! I proudly stand up there in my brownness and queerness, channeling my personal history into the character and queer community! It’s also a testament to the incredible lyrics and timeless music written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil. For The American Dream, I approached it with everything that is Seann Miley Moore — firstly it is quintessential cabaret and the lyrics are oh so naughty! ‘`Fat like a chocolate eclair as I suck out the cream!’ I mean, how camp! They even say it in the show:  “No one gives you a buzz like the Engineer does.” It takes a certain type of bitch to play the Engineer, and that bitch is me.”

“Touching on the queer aspect of the role, the lyrics indeed carry a homoerotic undertone, and I bring all of that to the forefront. In the show, Engineer runs a sex club, where every kink and fantasy is on the menu — including me. The connection with queerness and sex club nightlife works hand in hand. Queerness in such settings is nothing out of the ordinary. I stand by my girls. It’s amusing how I can flirt with heterosexual GI men who desire my girls, but they have to get through me first, creating a power dynamic. We are in charge, that’s the difference between other productions.”

The score for Miss Saigon is known for its lush and entrancing quality.

Movie in My Mind has always been a driving force for me. The swell, lushness, and the poignant lyrics! Drama drama drama! Kim Hodgson smashes the role! The motif in this song transfers into my role as well. The Engineer’s lyrics “passport in my hand, my new life can begin..in the playground of mankind the movie in my mind..,” truly encapsulates his fight, also I can let it rip and sing, honey!”

Returning to Manila with Miss Saigon must be significant. We asked Seann if they are excited about bringing the show overseas.

“Absolutely! I’m ready! We are bringing  Big SlayAsian energy back to Manila. Being Filipino, returning to my home country and sharing Miss Saigon with my filo family is a full-circle moment. I’m ready for all the good food to be honest haha! Tinola for breakfast!

“Manila, Miss SaigonSean Miley Moore! It’s showtime!”

Miss Saigon must close at the Adelaide Festival Theatre on February 3. All remaining tickets are now on sale. Don’t miss out on seeing this epic love story.

For further details and to book, visit: https://miss-saigon.com.au/ 

Photo credit: Daniel Boud

Read our review of Miss Saigon here .

Read our interview with Seann’s co-star, Abigail Adriano, here .

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