It’s beginning to look as if there’s a secret factory hidden deep in the Golden Valley that is regularly churning out exceptional young singers and actors to perform in Kingstone High School’s acclaimed musical performances.

Few thought that the school’s sublime production of Les Miserables, in 2010, could be matched, but last year the team turned up trumps again with a spectacular interpretation of Fame. So audiences waited in anticipation to see if the students could pull it off for a third time this year with Miss Saigon…and guess what? They did – they really did.

Kingstone made history when it opted to put on Miss Saigon, music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, lyrics by Richard Maltby Jnr and Alain Boublil – as it is the first school production anywhere in the country. But then this isn’t a school that shies away from a challenge – particularly when it comes to all things theatrical. From the moment the bar girls and the American GIs meet up in squalid, sultry Saigon the performers, musicians and technical crew didn’t miss a beat. There were performances here that would have graced many a professional theatre– let alone the stage in a school hall. From the chorus to the main characters – comprising no less than 20 per cent of the school population - the casting and performances were pitch perfect – no easy task when the average age of the leads was 15 and the youngest performer was merely five.

Despite the adult themes the production was seamless and wholly believable, thanks in no small part to Megan Dennis, who was charming yet mature beyond her years as the constant Kim. Alister Williams as the love-torn Chris and Tom Fletcher as the engineer were equally authentic and Jason Oseman added a sinister quality to the performance as Thuy. Other main cast performances came from Matthew Hince (John); Mary Pardoe (Ellen); Robyn Preece (Yvette); Lacey Watkins (Gigi); Molly Nicholas (Yvonne) and Emma Lewis (Mimi). Musical director was Matthew Hunt, director and co-director Jenny Bentley and Gill Haslam and producer was Wendy Ellis.