Joanna Ampil to Return to “Miss Saigon” in a Role Traditionally Played by a Man

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Joanna Ampil is returning to the cast of Miss Saigon but this time, she’s taking on a new role: the Engineer, which has traditionally been played by a man.

The Filipino actress will be playing the Engineer in Sheffield Theatre’s 2023 staging in the United Kingdom. She will be the first woman to play the role.

According to Playbill, this run will be the first in the UK to be given permission to “explore new approaches to staging and casting since the original 1989 production.”

According to co-director Anthony Lau, “we are looking forward to offering a fresh perspective on a musical that so many people have an opinion on. We want this project to ignite conversation and Cameron [Mackintosh] has encouraged us to be bold and original in our approach.”

Mackintosh is the producer of Miss Saigon.

Ampil is one of the many Filipino actors who have joined Miss Saigon through the years. Lea Salonga originated the role of Kim in West End and portrayed her again on Broadway. She became the first Asian woman to win a Tony for her portrayal.

Aside from Salonga, other Filipino performers like Isay Alvarez, Monique Wilson, Naths Everett, and Robert Sena have been part of the Miss Saigon cast. Later on, it would cast other Filipinos like Eva Noblezada, Jon Jon Briones, Rachelle Ann Go, Tanya Manalang, Lianah Sta. Ana, Leo Valdez, Gerald Santos, Aicelle Santos, Joreen Bautista, Jamie Rivera, Joan Almedilla, Carla Guevara-Laforteza, and more.

Ampil has also joined the cast of other hit musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables, Rent, West Side Story, Avenue Q, The Sound of Music, Cats, and South Pacific.

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