Seventeen year-old unknown North Carolina high school student Eva Noblezanda was plucked from obscurity to play the lead in the West End revival of the musical MISS SAIGON and winning the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
“She’s performed in shows at her school, but she has never done a big professional musical before,” said producer Cameron MacIntosh when he announced Eva would be playing Kim for the much-anticipated run at London’s Prince Edward Theatre, which opened in May 2014. It smashed the world box-office record, taking £4.4 million on the first day of ticket sales.
Apart from her obvious talent, the role is in the blood with Eva’s aunty, Annette Calud also playing Kim in the Broadway production.
MISS SAIGON premiered at the Drury Lane’s Theatre Royal in 1989, running for ten years before transferring to Broadway. Written by LES MISERABLES’ Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boubill, it is loosely based on Puccini’s MADAME BUTTERFLY. Set in 1975, during the final days of the American occupation of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), it tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance between an American G.I. And a Vietnamese bargirl.
The revival finishes at the end of this month and Eva will be reprising the role in the Broadway transfer in the Spring of 2017.