Miss Saigon

“The task of blending political and personal was an obvious challenge for the set designer. The sheer expanse of the stage was another. Three times the size of Les Miserables stage at The Palace Theatre, eighty-five feet deep and with much larger wings... One thing is certain, Napier will not be hampered by pre-conceived ideas about what is appropriate for a musical set design.”

Rebecca Abrams, Vogue

1st October 1989

Reviews of Miss Saigon

Yet big theatres do not have to be shackled to big effects: the magic of Napier's brilliant work for Miss Saigon lies not in the high tech scenes, but in the effortless way he has focussed attention to a scene of concentrated emotion played on a shallow, twenty foot truck at the front of a forty foot stage opening, before stretching out the action again to its full eighty foot depth. Now that's entertainment...

Sightline vol 24 no 4 - Ian Herbert
1st October 1989

If  a single prize were to be awarded it would go to the Director,  …and his designer, John Napier… Between them they have devised a stunning series of theatrical effects which are more than just theatrical in the narrow sense. Their tour de force is a recreation of the pull-out from Saigon, complete with descending and departing helicopter.

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "High flying with a bruised butterfly" - John Gross
24th September 1989

...his designer, John Napier, certainly give us spectacle, but it springs from the story rather than being superfluous show: the raising of a towering golden statue to Ho Chi Minh embodies Communist worship of secular idols just as the descent from the flies of a helicopter, into which American marines are unceremoniously bundled, expresses something of the poetic hastiness of the American evacuation.

THE GUARDIAN "Puccimi with Politics"
20th September 1989