Less than two years after its triumphant return to the West End, Laurence Connor’s triumphant restaging of the iconic musical Miss Saigon took its final flight at the Prince Edward Theatre tonight. As Cameron Mackintosh said in his finale speech on stage, the original London production opened at Drury Lane over 25 years ago and ran for 10 years in what was then a very different world. But the beauty – and tragedy – of the story of Miss Saigon is that it resonates in whatever age it is staged in, no more so than in these current times when thousands of refugees are once again fleeing war-torn countries. There is an age-old wisdom and relevance to the Saigon story that will never die.

In an age where musicals are so often produced and consumed as pure entertainment, this dark, disturbing and deep production has been a refreshingly thoughtful change to the usual West End fare and will be sorely missed. Bringing it back with a fresh and challenging new design, revealing the desperation and despair of the central characters, was a masterstroke that has enabled the dramatic performances to take on a new poignancy that has both revitalised the show for those of us who saw it the first time around and earned it a whole new generation of fans.

Those fans were certainly in evidence tonight at the 760th and final performance of Miss Saigon, with an amazing energy in the whole theatre flowing from the audience onto the stage and back again. There was an intensity to the central relationship between Chris and Kim that I haven’t experienced before in either the old production or on my previous three visits to this new production. Chris Peluso had an urgency about his Chris that was mesmeric, and seeing him coupled with Eva Noblezada was quite a revelation. Noblezada’s already magnificent performance has grown over time and she is now even more vulnerable in a war-torn and frightening world. Both actors sing the absolute heart out of what I still think is Boublil and Schonberg's finest score. And Siobhan Dillon as Ellen, the ‘other woman’, is the first actor I’ve seen in that difficult part who has succeeded in making me empathise with the character – there’s a sparkling frisson to the trio’s scenes together.

At the centre of this production remains Jon Jon Briones’ wily, evil Engineer, determined to achieve the ‘American dream’. Briones will be reunited with Noblezada to lead the cast of Miss Saigon on its Broadway return next year. Joined by Boublil and Schonberg at the on-stage finale, Cameron Mackintosh also revealed that the show will begin a UK tour in summer 2017, and that this production has been filmed for release in UK cinemas later this year. And with reference to a song title from the show, Mackintosh hopes that a full-scale film version will be more than just a ‘Movie in my Mind’ before too long. Although its iconic helicopter took its final flight out of London tonight, the heart-breaking, breath-taking power of the modern masterpiece that is Miss Saigon will live on.