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Review: SOUTH PACIFIC, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Review of South Pacific at Glasgow's Theatre Royal

Review: SOUTH PACIFIC, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Review: SOUTH PACIFIC, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

South Pacific is a 1949 musical revival about the American Military that opened to rave reviews at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2021.

Boasting a star-studded musical theatre cast, South Pacific features performances from Gina Beck, Julian Ovenden, Joanna Ampil and Rob Houchen. Setting this production apart from most touring productions, South Pacific has a full orchestra which brings timeless songs such as "Some Enchanted Evening" and "Younger Than Springtime" to life.

It would be easy to get this much-loved musical wrong but Daniel Evans' production of Rogers and Hammerstein's classic hits all the right notes. When Nurse Nellie meets Emile de Becque she falls for him but declares that him having mixed-race children is a dealbreaker and calls off the romance. The opening scene hits the ground running with their relationship and while it could be difficult for audiences to connect with these characters immediately, Beck and Ovenden are completely captivating in their roles.

It's a long first act running at 90 minutes but the time flies in this gorgeous production. Peter McKintosh's set and costume design is beautiful and classic, ensuring that none of this show feels dated. The character Bloody Mary (Joanna Ampil) seems to have been given more depth and nuance than in previous productions and South Pacific is all the better for it.

While some of the script and language might still be a little jarring, South Pacific has been reworked for a modern audience and highlights some issues that are unfortunately still relevant today.

Photo credit: : Johan Persson

From This Author - Natalie O'Donoghue

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