Gina Beck and Alex Young to share role of Nellie in South Pacific
Beck, who is pregnant, will leave the show in August
Chichester Festival Theatre has announced that, following news of Gina Beck's pregnancy, she will share the role of Nellie Forbush in South Pacific with Alex Young.
Beck will open the role as planned with performances from 5 July. From 5 August, Young will share the role of Nellie and take over full time from 23 August for the remainder of the run.
South Pacific, which was originally scheduled for 2020, is currently booking until 4 September.
Alex Young returns to the Festival Theatre where she starred opposite Matt Lucas in Me and My Girl in 2018. She and Gina Beck appeared together in Daniel Evans' production of Show Boat in Sheffield and the West End.
Evans, who is artistic director of CFT and director of South Pacific, said: "It's utterly joyful news that Gina is expecting her second baby and that her long-awaited Chichester debut in the role of Nellie will take place as planned from 5 July. I know that Gina is as delighted as I am that Alex Young will share the role with her."
Beck said: "I'm so excited to be finally playing Nellie at Chichester, and am so grateful to CFT for all their support. I'm hoping their trailblazing attitude will spread across the industry to create a future which accommodates those women who want to start a family.
"When carrying my first child, I became unemployable and unpaid for six months of my pregnancy because I looked, well… pregnant. Like most women, I wasn't unable to work during this time, but because of some of the industry's more conventional attitudes, financial pressures greatly impacted my choice to return to work when my daughter was just four months old."
The South Pacific cast also features Julian Ovenden as Emile, Joanna Ampil as Bloody Mary, Keir Charles as Luther Billis, Rob Houchen as Cable.
It 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.