This ia an amazing show!!! Please go and watch it!! You will laugh and cry!!
Stars of the show Jason Howard, Alex Ferns Loretta Ables Sayre and Finton Flynn Samantha Womak is fantastic in gotta wah that man right out of hair!!!
Thank you for wondeful entertainment!!! - Jessie
28 Oct 11
What a real shame, poor casting has killed this.
This can not be what New York raved about?
Sadly she is 'not in love' well you would never guess and as for any joy or feeling, forget it...
The show is saved by some good other leads, two from NY (Paulo lifts the roof off and brings what is missing everywhere else) Bloody Mary but the Cable is good too.
Billis is played hard and not very nice (an OK take on it) the boys try and work up a storm but the girls are just dull and as for the shower moment, why bother.
In London we had 40 in the pit, not on the tour.
This is a 'tour production' with sets that are 'ok' but nothing more and it is not what was promised on the tin... - peterbarlow
29 Sep 11
We travelled from Cornwall to see this show what a great disappointment
The show never came alive
Dont waste your money
- iris stamp
14 Sep 11
The concrete carbuncle that is the Barbican proved to be an appropriate venue for this rather soulless revival of South Pacific, which gained such adulation in New York. The score is wonderful of course and is given full justice by a 25 piece orchestra but, as with other Rodgers and Hammerstein shows, the bits between the songs are disappointingly dull. The first half lacks humour and vitality, there is no real tension in the second half and the characterisations lack depth. Just before the interval Nellie rejects Emile because she cannot accept his mixed race children, then she seems happy to act as their stepmother with no apparent struggle with her choices. Most worryingly the portrayal of Bloody Mary and Liat are dangerously close to racial stereotyping. There can be no qualms about the quality of the performances though. Jason Howard brings operatic splendour to Emile (thankfully because he gets to sing the best song, "Some Enchanted Evening" at least five times) and Daniel Koek confirms the reputation he gained on the Chess tour. There was a distinct murmer of surprise when Samantha Womack began to sing but much of her training and experience has been in musical theatre - in a few years Eastenders might seem like an aberration in a successful stage career. She has no trouble conveying the much younger Nellie, the hick from Little Rock, has a very pretty singing voice, if a little lacking in power, and her dancing showed no evidence of her recent dislocated toe. Given the plaudits this production received at the Lincoln Center I was expecting more from South Pacific; I'd love to see how much excitement and vitality the team at the Open Air Theatre could bring to it. - David Baxter
09 Sep 11
Well, either this has improved immeasurably since opening or I’m easily pleased. Put off initially by the obscene ticket prices (top price £85 – 30% higher than any West End musical), then by the mediocre blogs and reviews and on arrival at the theatre by the £6 programme, things didn’t look promising…….but I absolutely loved it!
I’ve only seen the show twice before – in 1998 in the West End when Gemma Craven was a rather glib Nellie but Bertice Reading a terrific Bloody Mary and at the NT in 2001 when Philip Quast was an excellent Emile but John Napier’s designs and Matthew Bourne’s choreography were the stars. Neither was cast as well as this, where every role is well played and beautifully sung. The musical standards are particularly high with the orchestra playing the score so well both the overture and entr’acte were highlights in themselves.
Samantha Womack is a revelation - sweet-voiced and gorgeous, with an excellent American accent, riding Nellie’s emotional roller coaster superbly. Jason Howard (well, I think it was him – I refused to pay the £6 for the programme!) is excellent, with a lovely baritone voice that does full justice to the songs Rogers & Hammerstein wrote for Emile. Daniel Koek is a fine voiced, handsome Joe and Loretta Ables Sayre a darker Bloody Mary than we’re used to. Alex Fearns showed us his musical comedy credentials in the touring version of the Menier’s Little Shop of Horrors and he confirms them here with a brilliant characterisation as Billis.
In addition to its exceptional musical standards, where this production scores for me is on an emotional level. You really do engage with the characters, their novel situation and their love – it is often deeply moving. The show was way ahead of its time in the 50′s with a war setting and racism to the fore, and with such wonderful songs (and boy, what a score!) it’s easy to bury the issues in the palm trees and grass skirts. They’ve certainly not done that here and for me that’s the real success of Bartlett’s Sher’s production.
- Gareth James
07 Sep 11
I was there on press night. Though a diverting evening's entertainment, it really was difficult to see what all the fuss was about. Though chock full of great tunes, the show didn't give me that sucker punch which would have suggested that it's 5 (or was it 7) Tony's were justified. The cast were likeable, on the whole, and the singing was 'nice' though I found it difficult to see from the evidence of this production exactly why South Pacific is held in such high esteem as being a show from 'The Golden Era' of Broadway musical writing. I'm inclined to think that its proximity to WWII had a great deal to do with its initial success, otherwise, why was it until only a couple of years ago that it was first revived on Broadway? I'm sure it'll do well on tour. Everyone knows the songs, and the 'TV Star' appeal of Samantha Womack (nee Janus) will have plenty of pulling power. The Barbican is quite a large stage, so perhaps it will work better in a more intimate auditorium. I won't be rushing to buy another ticket though. I even find myself agreeing with some of what Coveney says, which is highly unusual. - Richard Voyce
05 Sep 11
The other Steve has it exactly right, except that Samantha Womack's voice is really quite sweet and lovely, despite being a small instrument. - Steve
03 Sep 11
I went and saw this show last night...woe was me after seeing it. I thought I had wandered into some amdram production. The cast was lacklustre and dull,their was no chemistry between the actors and by the end of the second score I was bored silly. The singing was at best average, the acting totally laughable and as for the dancing I do not feel i need to say!!! I was so looking forward to seeing the show and it was a dissapointment. My advise dont waste your money and go see another show instead or rent the movie which will be a far more enjoyable experience. - Clint
02 Sep 11
Great show, loved it. Please don`t listen to this "critic". His comment on the water in the shower kinda summed uo that he wasn`t paying attention - I was in the upper circle and saw the water no problem. Maybe he was too busy making nasty notes for his review. Wonderful production, please don`t let this inaccurate view put you off going to see it. - Tom
28 Aug 11
The first preview performance (15th Aug.) just didn’t inspire despite a show that hosts some of the World’s greatest love songs. Distant memories of my mum singing them as she did the ironing had more impact. Perhaps it was the lack lustre set, sentiments hard for me to identify with, and international cast that are amiss. An all USA team might add the much needed authenticity and vibrancy that it must have had to do so well on Broadway; Ms Womack from DepressedEnders, I think not. - Stevie
28 Aug 11
I was very disappointed with the production. After reading such rave reviews when it opened on Broadway, I was looking forward to seeing it and how they'd added in new parts to make it darker. What I actually saw was a competent enough production, but I thought the National's production 10 years ago was far better in every respect.
Emile and Bloody Mary were excellent, but I thought Samantha Womack was pretty terrible. Her accent wandered all over America through the evening. She's also way too old for the part. Lt Cable is shocked that she's going out with a 44 year man. She looks 44 herself, so it makes no sense.
The actual production is set on a really small stage, I guess because it's touring, but that does seem to hinder a lot of the direction. When they bring on pieces of set, there's not a whole lot of room left for the cast.
I'm glad I saw it, but I left wishing it had lived up to my expectations. - Steve
25 Aug 11
Not quite sure what show your Michael Coveney was at but it could not have been the opening night of South Pacific I attended. Surely Nellie is supposed to be " a bit dumb upstairs" does Mr Coveney not know where Little Rock is .
As for the shower scene if he had been given a good seat he would have seen the water in the shower.
Well done Sam and all the cast, it was fantastic.
Sam Spinks - Sam Spinks
25 Aug 11
Given the pedigree I expected so much more but sadly lots seems to have been left mid-Atlantic.
While the score is of course impressive the show is badly let down buy some static direction and even worse some miscasting. There is no chemistry between the leads and so any empathy with the characters is missing. - James Hicks
24 Aug 11
Again, another review which illustrates that Coveney does not know what he is talking about. He is clearly passed it and should be replaced by someone who has taste and actually knows something about the theatre - John Winfield
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