South Pacific at the Wales Millennium Centre: A Review

Chichester Festival Theatre’s critically acclaimed, landmark production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific comes to Cardiff in 2022.” 

We were lucky enough to be invited to come and watch the Chichester Festival Theatre production of South Pacific at the Wales Millennium Centre. And to no one’s surprise, we were impressed.

South Pacific is a classic story of love and loss, fighting prejudices and choosing between your head and your heart. It follows the story of an American Navy nurse and a French man during World War ll on a tempting island in the South Pacific. This classic musical is brought to life with the Chichester Festival Theatre production, throwing you into the tempting, beautifully dangerous world of passion and prejudice.

Reprising their roles as Nellie Forbush and Emile de Becque is the stunningly talented Gina Beck and Julian Ovenden, alongside other theatre stars Rob Houchen (as Joesph Cable), Joanna Ampil (as Bloody Mary) and Sera Maehara (as Liat).

This show strikes the perfect balance of top-tapping, upbeat numbers such as ‘Bloody Mary’, ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair’, ‘There is Nothin’ Like A Dame’ and ‘Honey Bun’. As well as hard-hitting, powerful numbers that seem to take your breath away, such as, ‘Carefully Taught’, ‘This Was Nearly Was Mine’ and ‘Some Enchanted Evening’. The longing chemistry between Beck (Nellie) and Ovenden (Emile) keeps you laughing, smiling and crying until the very end, the two actors fitting so well with each other.

Although there’s no denying the magnificent solos throughout this show were powerful, some of my favourite parts of the show were the chorus numbers. The large cast filling the staged with perfect harmonies and energetic dances that will leave you not knowing where to look.

Visually, this show is sensational! At the very start, we have a simple warm sunlight spotlight on Liat and along with the gentle sound of the waves around us pulled you right into the performance from the overture. With twisting set and a revolve, it takes you through the scenes so smoothly and although there were only a handful of sets, you can’t help but notice the wonderful little detail that went into them.

I also can’t not mention the adorably talented children in this show who play Emile de Becque’s children, Ngana and Jerome, their number ‘Dites-Moi’ is heart-warming. Such talented for so young had the whole audience impressed.

I would recommend this musical to anyone who wants to fall back into nostalgia or discover something new. With a talented-filled cast, powerful numbers and stunning visuals, what more can you want from a musical. It will pull on your heart-strings and it will truly be an enchanted evening!

This production of South Pacific is on at the Millennium Centre until 15th October, so go and get your tickets now!

For more information about the show and where you can buy tickets, head over to the Wales Millennium Centre website.

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