|The cast of South Pacific backstage after the show.....|
South Pacific is a show full of hits. I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair, Some enchanted evening, Younger than Springtime, Happy Talk are among the Rodgers and Hammerstein numbers many people who have never seen South Pacific may know. On Wednesday night I was lucky enough to invited by the Maghull Musical Theatre Co to their production at The Little Theatre in Southport.
First I should say what a friendly company the Maghull folk are and they put on a really enjoyable show with some great individual and ensemble performances. The comic rendering of Honey Bun almost stopped the show. Mind you we needed a laugh to break the tension. I thought the Maghull cast handled plot exceptionally well. This show deals with racial tension and prejudice. It was first performed in 1949 in America still scarred by racial segregation. It was 14 year before Martin Luther King shared his dream and South Pacific does not shy away from challenging attitudes that were prevalent in many parts of the USA. One such place was Little Rock where schooling was still segregated, this is the town that Nellie Forbush the heroine of the show hails from and we see her struggle with the prejudices acquired in childhood. Make no mistake Rodgers and Hammerstein set out to write a hit musical that had a clear progressive message on racism. The Maghull production got that message across whilst still achieving a really good evenings entertainment.
I particularly liked they way they did 'I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair' and, as I've already said their Honey Bun was a delight to behold.
I talked with members of the cast after the show including Nellie, played by Kew Woods TA Kay Williams and Luther Billis, played by Les Gommersall who were the two who pulled off the brilliant Honey Bun routine-Les sporting a coco shell bra. Backstage I also met the Company's Chair Betty Hall. She had not been hobnobbing with the likes of me me but instead was busy back stage. And I should say it was hot. In fact the temperature and humidity matched the South Pacific.
Next up for the Maghull songsters is Legally Blonde and that promises to be another great night's entertainment judging by the performance I saw. They did Maghull proud,