Last night we got the opportunity to go back in time to the days of World War 2 on the Islands of the South Pacific for an evening of romance, stunning music and nostalgia. South Pacific is one of theatres golden oldies, first premiering on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre on April 7, 1949, and was an instant hit, thus earning itself a place in theatres hall of greats. It went on to be played worldwide, still selling out theatres today.
Review South Pacific UK Tour 2022 Manchester
What is South Pacific About?
The war is not going well, the Japanese are gaining ground all the time.The troops are missing home and romance, thus are hatching plans to get the mystical Island of Bali Ha’i, where locals have sent their daughter to keep them safe from the roving eyes and hands of the troops. Locals try to engage and enterprise, mum Bloody Mary (Joanna Ampil) befriends the troops in the hope of finding an American husband for her daughter, but also profit from the occupation in the best way she can.
Meanwhile American nurse Nellie Forbush (Gina Bush) falls in love with a French plantation owner Emile de Becque, (Julian Ovenden), however struggles to accept that he has Polynesian children.
Watching South Pacific is like watching a gorgeous old movie. It felt wonderfully nostalgic, not old fashioned, but vintage theatre at its best. It wasn’t solely a musical, but a play with music, the story was a huge feature and had many lessons woven in.
Watching shows set back in the 40s brings many issues, mostly making you grateful of how times have changed. Issues such as racism and sexism although clearly present throughout, serve as lessons that the good old days were not always so great as nostalgia would have you believe. I don’t think these things should be changed, it’s a snapshot of the past, a past we need reminding not to go back to.
The voices were stunning, the whole Ensemble was glorious, it really did feel like a wonderful old romantic film. Additionally the set was the perfect setting with the revolving section of stage creating some great effects to otherwise simple scenes.
Should You Go And See South Pacific?
If you are a lover of old movies and nostalgia then this is one for you. I am a huge fan of vintage thus watching South Pacific made my heart sing. Also, although I had never seen the film, as a theatre and Elaine Paige on Sunday fan I knew all the songs. I think these songs are part of the fabric of the theatre.
I was gifted the tickets in return for an honest review, and you can’t argue with gorgeous nostalgia that has some important lessons woven in.
Where Can You See South Pacific?
South Pacific is showing at the Opera House Manchester, Until Sat 23 Jul 2022
The Alexandra, Birmingham, Tue 27 Sep – Sat 1 Oct 2022
Theatre Royal Glasgow, Tue 4 Oct – Sat 8 Oct 2022