Mackintosh reveals plan for Miss Saigon, the movie

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The Independent Online
SIR CAMERON MACKINTOSH revealed plans yesterday to make a film of his West End musical Miss Saigon.

The theatre impresario also spoke of the turnaround in fortunes for the loss-making show since he decided to close it next month after 10 years.

"It is too late to have second thoughts about taking it off," he said, "because I have agreed that with the theatre. But the show is taking a fortune at the moment. I always felt it should do around 10 years; but I must say even I am thrilled with the amount of money it is taking. Earlier this year it was hovering around pounds 180,000 a week. Now it is well into the pounds 200,000s a week." Sir Cameron last night held a 10th anniversary party for the show after last night's performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

He said that he will now make a film for television and video of Miss Saigon. "I think it will make a very good video. We have also been approached about doing a pay-per-view for the 10th anniversary in America," he said.

His next project will be a musical of The Witches Of Eastwick, which will open in Drury Lane next year. There has already been speculation that Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones could head the cast.

Miss Saigon has been seen by over 25m people in 12 countries. In London alone it has grossed pounds 150m and made a profit of pounds 21m.

Sir Cameron, who owns five west end theatres, may join the bidders for the Stoll Moss Group, which owns 12 London theatres including the London Palladium. Bids have to be lodged by tomorrow. The favourite to buy the group is the entertainments giant SFX, which may offer pounds 100m. The company recently bought several regional theatres in Britain and the Lyceum Theatre in London.

Sir Cameron said: "I'm flabbergasted at what is going on. I never thought I would see 75 per cent of the commercial theatres in Britain change hands in 12 months ... What's very important now is that a balance of power remains and that there's not a monopoly. SFX is a huge conglomerate and they seem to be on a permanent shopping spree. These theatres need good managers to survive, not just good returns for shareholders."

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