Theatre: RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S SOUTH PACIFIC (Streaming from Chichester Festival Theatre, West Sussex, England)

Post image for Theatre: RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S SOUTH PACIFIC (Streaming from Chichester Festival Theatre, West Sussex, England)

by Tony Frankel on July 27, 2021

in Theater-International,Virtual


Chichester Festival Theatre’s hugely acclaimed new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific will be streamed internationally on eight dates in August and September. Recorded live in front of an audience at CFT in July, the same performance will be broadcast on each of the stream dates. While tickets are valid for 24 hours, note that start times are GST, so 7:30pm is 2:30 New York (ET) and 11:30 Los Angeles (PT), etc.

The cast is led by Gina Beck (Matilda, Show Boat, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera) as Nellie, Julian Ovenden (Bridgerton, Downton Abbey, Merrily We Roll Along, Grand Hotel, BBC Proms) as Emile, Joanna Ampil (Cats, Les Misérables, Miss Saigon) as Bloody Mary, Keir Charles (Quiz, Back To Life) as Luther Billis and Rob Houchen (Les Misérables, The Light in the Piazza) as Cable.

This much-loved, Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical opened in 1949 to huge success, becoming one of Broadway’s longest running hit shows. It boasts one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most memorable scores, featuring songs such as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” and “Bali Ha’i.”

1943. On an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, US troops are kicking their heels amid the cacao groves while restlessly waiting for the war to reach them. Nellie Forbush, a navy nurse from Arkansas, finds herself falling for the French plantation owner, Emile de Becque – a man with a mysterious past. The scheming sailor Luther Billis runs a makeshift laundry to earn a quick buck, but he’s no match for the Polynesian Bloody Mary who’s intent on exploiting these foreigners. When young Princeton graduate Lieutenant Joe Cable is flown in on a dangerous reconnaissance mission, love and fear become entwined as the island’s battle for hearts and minds begins.

This new production of South Pacific is directed by CFT’s Artistic Director Daniel Evans whose previous Chichester productions include This Is My Family, Quiz and Fiddler on the Roof. The set and costume designer is Peter McKintosh, and the choreographer and movement director, Ann Yee. Musical supervision is by Nigel Lilley, with musical direction by Cat Beveridge, new orchestration by David Cullen, original Broadway orchestration by Robert Russell Bennett, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Paul Groothuis, video design by Gillian Tan, additional arrangements and Happy Talk orchestrations by Theo Jamieson, casting by Charlotte Sutton and additional children’s casting by Verity Naughton.

The cast also includes Iroy Abesamis, Lindsay Atherton, Carl Au, Rosanna Bates, David Birrell, Leslie Garcia Bowman, Taylor Bradshaw, Bobbie Chambers, Charlotte Coggin, Danny Collins, Oliver Edward, Sergio Giacomelli, Shailan Gohil, Adrian Grove, Zack Guest, Cameron Bernard Jones, Amanda Lindgren, Matthew Maddison, Sera Maehara (as Liat), Melissa Nettleford, Rachel Jayne Picar, Kate Playdon, Pierce Rogan, Clancy Ryan, Charlie Waddell and James Wilkinson-Jones, with children’s roles played by Archer Brandon, Ellie Chung, Lana Lakha, Kami Lieu, David Ngara-O’Dwyer and Alexander Quinlan.

photos by Johan Persson

South Pacific
Chichester Festival Theatre
streams August 4, 14, 18 & 21 at 2.30pm GST
August 9, 26, 31 & September 3 at 7.30pm GST
(tickets valid for 24 hours)
for tickets (£10 Early Bird; £20 standard), visit CFT
(the run of live performances ends September 5, 2021)

All performances will have the option for closed captions in English. Performances on 21, 26, 31 August and 3 September are available with audio description. Performances on 21, 26, 31 August and 3 September are available interpreted into BSL by Sarah Granger.

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