Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Joanna Ampil makes history as 1st woman to play The Engineer  

STAR CIRCUIT - Ricky L. Calderon - The Freeman

Joanna Ampil just doesn’t stop making us Filipinos proud!

Joanna, who starred as Kim at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London’s West End original Australian production, original UK and Ireland Tour and in the 10th anniversary Performance, will star as the Engineer, the first woman to play this role, in the new production of Miss Saigon to be staged at the United Kingdom at the historic The Crucible Theatre.

Joanna can be heard as Kim on the Complete International Recording of Miss Saigon. She starred as Eponine and thereafter the first Asian to play the role of Fantine in the Claud-Michel Schonberg and Alan Boubil’s Les Miserables in London’s West End.

Originally opened in 1971, The Crucible is a world-famous theatre and iconic Sheffield landmark, with a distinctive stage. It is home to world-class productions and groundbreaking theatre, made right in Sheffield. The Crucible’s epic stage is surrounded by seats on three sides, meaning you’re never more than 20 meters from the action.

The production will be directed by Sheffield Artistic Director Robert Hastie and Associate Artistic Director Anthony Lau. The show is set to open at The Crucible Theatre in the summer of 2023.

“I am beyond thrilled to be the first woman to play the role of Engineer in this exhilarating reimagination of this most beloved musical which is so close to my heart. I had just turned 18 when I got thru an open call audition of Miss Saigon. Back then, they were looking for 18-year-old girls for the role of Kim in Manila. After a series of call-backs, I landed the role and immediately moved to London with my mother. As a teenager, it was my professional, theatrical and West End debut rolled into one,” recalled Joanna.

“To have played Kim in different productions countless of times and to have had my first taste of recording with the Complete International Symphonic Recording of the show, it feels like a full circle moment to pave the way for the historical gender-bending casting.”

“My goal personally is to champion the Asian perspective and answer some of the racist and misogynistic overtones in this new staging. To execute the role as a woman of strength, sensitivity, grit, complete with flaws and a whole heart. I will hopefully open doors to so many of my fellow actors regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity and religious beliefs to color-blind casting, break barriers and represent.”

She added, “I would like to thank Anthony Lau and Robert Hastie for being brave and for approaching me to do this role, and to Cameron Machintosh for allowing this to happen at The Crucible and for all the breakthrough opportunities he has bestowed upon me all these years. To give new life to this musical which changed my life and to sing the beloved score of Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alan Boubil once again is a wild dream coming true.”


In the 25 years of Gloc-9’s storied career is a lesson-filled narrative that has been the subject of many of his compositions.

His long and bumpy road to success made him the person that he is today: thankful, humble, and selfless. Traits that normally gets forgotten especially when success goes to your head.

He remembers the people who took a leap of faith in his behalf, those who gave him the much needed break to show his talent, even those who maligned him and downplayed his ambition. They were part and parcel of his journey – his success.

HEBISHRAM is a pay-it-forward song. A chance to make a difference. A song where he sets himself aside and pushes front and center the next generation of rap talents: Hero, Bishnu Paneru, and Ramdis. All products of Gloc-9’s 44-bar challenges.

This song captures the essence of his journey: love for the craft, persistence, and trusting in God to get you through all the challenges that come your way. Lyrics by Gloc-9, Hero, Bishnu, and Ramdis. Arranged by Rassel “Goodson Hella Bad” Tiquia. Mixed and mastered by Airon Paul “Hero” Bayani.

HEBISHRAM IS now streaming in all platforms.


Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/ph/album/hebishram/1645473803?i=1645473810

Lyric video (edited by Nico Dela Cruz, Harvey Aya-ay and Ramn Leuz Rubante) link: https://youtu.be/e_nBerdQp0I

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