Wednesday, 30 May 2012

South Pacific At Nottingham Theatre Royal REVIEW

Photo by Simon Annand
It was a suitably balmy and sultry evening last night for the opening of the much-lauded and Olivier Award-nominated South Pacific tour, aptly helping to transport the Nottingham Theatre Royal audience right into the show's sun-drenched paradise island setting.

Starting as it well and truly carried on, in full-blown rapturous, romantic style with much sighing and exchanging of longing glances between Nellie and Emile, the show's lead couple, the first scene swept us all up and away with the soaring love-struck passion of Some Enchanted Evening (breathless sigh) But- hello sailor! Things soon heated up a good few notches when the bustin'-all-over-with-buff Seabees bounced somersaulting onto stage with a hearty rendition of There Is Nothin' Like A Dame with saucily-updated choreography that even happily blows that infamous Morecambe and Wise version well out of the water.

Samantha Womack proves she's a lot more than a purdy face as the winsomely steadfast Nellie Forbush either singing her heart out "I'm in love! I'm in love! I'm in love! I'm in love!" or questioning her own beliefs and prejudices as the complications of her relationship develop. From the wickedly funny Bloody Mary to the weepy Cable and Liat love story, to the legendary songs, including the haunting and bewitching Bali Ha'i (and even the challenging Happy Talk is performed with terrific artistry)  it's a breathtaking and heartbreaking, top quality and top class, swooning and passionate production, with heart-felt performances from a superb cast, beautifully set and brilliantly lit, with exquisite scenic depictions contrasting with the roaring clamour of war.

Great for incurable romantics, sun-worshippers and those who like men (or women) in (and out of) uniform, no need to wash this one out of your hair, it's more of a deep-nourishing leave-in conditioner, for extra creamy, dreamy musical loveliness, with captivating dancing-shimmer and younger-than-springtime shine. The water's lovely, go on in, you know you're worth it.

South Pacific is at Nottingham Theatre Royal until June 9. Full details and ticket prices can be found at

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