27th March 2015
St Michaels Church Hall Wigan
Type of Production
Alexandra Keogh and Clare Hodkinson
Author: Patricia Connor
~~Wigan Musical Theatre Groups presented us with an entertaining production of “South Pacific” directed by the talented John Clinton.The show is set on two remote Pacific Islands and the plot revolves around two sets of lovers and touches on some of the prejudices that persisted during World War II, for example when Ensign Nellie Forbush, the Navy nurse from Little Rock whose romance with French plantation owner, Emile de Becque, flounders when she learns he had children with a Polynesian woman. “South Pacific” is one of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein‘s most iconic Tony award winning musicals and has some of their best known songs in its score such as “Some Enchanted Evening” “Bali Ha’i” and “Younger Than Springtime”.
There were a number of good performances from the cast of this show which included the endearing Ellie Cooper and Elliott Heap as Ngana and Jerome, Emile's children who gave us a nice rendition of Dites Mois. There were also enjoyable comedic performances from Hazel Bumby as the savvy islander Bloody Mary, and Dave Cox as the entrepreneurial Luther Billis, who also had eyes for Nellie Forbush, while Mark Fenton and Marie Armstrong made a likable pairing as the tragic lovers Lieutenant Joseph Cable and Bloody Mary’s daughter Liat. However I must congratulate Debbi Mulligan on her excellent spot on performance as Nellie Forbush whose singing voice along with her acting ability really suited the part.Clive Green as Emile de Becque had a lovely singing voice producing very enjoyable renditions of both “Some Enchanted Evening” and “This Nearly was Mine”. There were also some good characterizations from the actors in the smaller roles who supported the principle cast well.Everyone appeared to work well together with lots of energy and enthusiasm, especially in the big chorus numbers. Diction was clear and words could be heard meaning the story could be followed easily, but some of the American accents were a little shaky at times with the occasionally slip back into more local accents. However it was obvious that the cast had worked very hard to bring this very entertaining production to the stage resulting in an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.
Choreography by Alexandra Keogh and Clare Hodkinson was appropriate and was executed well by the cast, the orchestra led by musical director Joan Bond played well supporting the cast at just the right level. The set lighting and sound were all excellent and costumes were well thought out, just right for the era and were very colourful.
Congratulations to John Clinton and to all involved in this production for an entertaining evening and thank you for inviting me, I hope to see you for your next production.