REVIEW: South Pacific, Lyceum Theatre

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I know it’s a corny thing to say, but I was enchanted by this evening with a fantastic version of a classic musical from start to finish.

The famous songs are fabulously performed, the very cleverly-staged production cracks along and the cast are first rate.

The story is mainly a romantic comedy about life for US sailors and nurses during the Second World War, but the production cleverly brought out the darker side of the racism of the time.

Ensign Nellie Forbush (Rebecca Thornhill) has to deal with her revulsion that her lover, French planter Emile de Becque (Matthew Cammelle), was once married to a Polynesian woman. Prejudice bars the love of Lieut Joseph Cable (James Austen Murray) and Liat (Elizabeth Chong).

All the principals are strong, although Matthew Cammelle’s acting is a bit stilted. Two of the stand-outs for me were Jodie Kimura as souvenir seller Bloody Mary and another comic turn, former EastEnders villain Alex Ferns as Luther Billis.

Both raised the laughs but also added depth to their characters.

Show runs until August 4.