Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific is a classic show. Traditional and pleasing. So it was lovely to see Solihull Theatre Company bring a new layer to their production. With the use of digital screens, the mood and place were swiftly set without clunky scene changes. It was simple yet clever - and very effective.
The band were joyful although there were some balance issues in the first act, however this seemed to diminish as the show progressed.
Leading the cast were Jonathan Busk and Helen Gibbs as Emile De Becque and Nellie Forbush. Busk's rich, deep, velvety vocals fitted the role perfectly whilst Gibbs's poise and character was a delight. Lovely cameos came from the two adorable children James Price and Eva Ghazanfari, who had the daunting task of opening the show.
James Gough made for a suitably hilarious Luther Billis and although there were moments where his accent slipped his performance was utterly engaging.
Supported well by Daniel Peet and Michael Greene, the entire male ensemble delivered strong harmonies from the outset. Equally impressive were the female ensemble and when the whole cast joined together for the rousing final number, arranged by Kris Chase-Byrne, it made for a poignant finale.
Fantastic performances came from Chris Johnstone as Lieutenant Cable and Leah Alcock as Bloody Mary. Both with excellent characterisation and lovely voices, they stole their respective scenes.
Under the accomplished direction of Andrew Johnson, the show was a mighty success. Congratulations to all involved.
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