South Pacific

Date 14th March 2015
Society React Youth Theatre
Venue Consett Empire Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Ian Mordue
Musical Director Melene Appleton
Choreographer Laura Walley


Author: Michelle Coulson

To celebrate their 5th anniversary React! Youth Theatre, whose membership age range is 7 to 17, chose one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most iconic shows to perform. The hard work put in by the production team and cast in portraying this story of love, war and prejudice was evident.

The show was opened by Erin Wilde (Ngana) and James Grainger (Jerome) with their delightful performance of “Dites-moi”, a confident performance from such young actors.

The cast in cameo roles gave good support, in particular Amy Herdsman (Brackett) and Anna Diamond (Harbison). In roles written for mature men these girls gave confident portrayals of the characters. Aaron Murphy was clearly revelling in playing the scheming but loveable “Billis”, and Matthew Leach (Cable) and Natalia Swiatck (Liat) provided believable performances as the lovers destined for tragedy.

The three main principal roles were double cast and at the performance I attended the role of “Nellie” was played by Olivia Lee who looked every inch the US Navy nurse, and who clearly enjoyed performing the iconic songs including “Wash that Man” and “Honey Bun”.  As “Emile”, Jordan Appleton not only sang well but maintained his French accent throughout, and portrayed a maturity way beyond his age.  Eleanor Grainger, as the bawdy “Bloody Mary”, gave a stand-out performance with superb characterisation and delivery.  I am sure that Lauren Dobson, Matthew Storey and Sophie Moss also did well at their performances.

The emotive score was in the capable hands of Joe Wilson and the Vivo Swing Orchestra, and the ensemble numbers were lively and were performed with enthusiasm and huge smiles; the enjoyment of the performers was tangible.

Congratulations everyone for an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.