Just as Phantom of the Opera is known as the musical "with the chandelier", many theatre fans will probably describe Miss Saigon as the musical "with the helicopter".
We had been hyped about the promised appearance of a giant chopper during our preview of the show before it arrives in Dublin later this year (and it did not disappoint), but it was really the depth of the characters and the outpouring of emotion through powerful songs that blew us away.
Without spoiling the story, Miss Saigon is set during the last days of the Vietnam War, and opens with a dazzling set which transports you right into the middle of a questionable dive-bar-sort-of-place run by an eccentric character known as The Engineer, brilliantly played by Red Conception.
Lets just say many an American GI gets to blow off steam under The Engineer's roof, and this is where 17-year-old Kim ends up spending a short time with a young man named Chris.
Chris, played by Ashley Gilmour (whose theatre credits include Link Larkin in Hairspray), isn't like many of the other soldiers, him and Kim fall rapidly and madly in love - but they are separated by the fall of Saigon.
As Kim spends three years desperatly trying to find her way back to Chris, the audience is treated to emotional songs delivered in astoundingly crystal clear vocals, thundering scenes with scores of stomping soldiers - and of course, that helicopter.
To give you a sense of just how amazing a production Miss Saigon is, its mastermind is Cameron Mackintosh - he's the man who has already brought the spectacular Phantom of the Opera and the practically perfect Mary Poppins to Dublin. At times, there is so much going on on the Miss Saigon stage that you really would love a second watch to take more of it in. It is well worth seeing when it comes to Dublin, but you may want to pack a few tissues!
We spoke to some of the cast in Birmingham, which is their final stop before they come to Dublin for a six week run, and they are excited to spend time at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Ashley Gilmore, who plays Chris, is planning to bring his car on the boat over so he can "explore the whole of Ireland on the weekends".
Sooha Kim, who plays Kim, said she "has heard so many good things about Dublin and is very much looking forward to coming to visit", while her understudy, Joreen Bautista, who is 17 and from The Philippines, said she has "heard it's like a mix of American and European culture which I am very much looking forward to seeing".
Miss Saigon will run at The Bord Gais Energy Theatre from October 4th to November 18th and you can find out more by clicking here.