South Pacific tour will begin in Manchester


Keir Charles and Gina Beck in South Pacific at Chichester this summer. Pic: Johan Persson
Keir Charles and Gina Beck in South Pacific at Chichester this summer. Pic: Johan Persson

The rave-reviewed Chichester Festival Theatre production of South Pacific will launch a new UK tour at the Manchester Opera House next July 16-23.

Reprising their roles as Emile de Becque and Ensign Nellie Forbush in Manchester and at the following Sadler’s Wells season (July 27-Aug 28) will be West End, Broadway and screen star Julian Ovenden and West End leading lady Gina Beck. Later tour dates include Leeds Grand (November 1-5).

The production is directed by Chichester artistic director Daniel Evans, one of the UK’s leading directors of musical, and movement direction is by Ann Yee.

South Pacific is one of the greatest of all the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals and its run in Chichester this summer played to packed houses, standing ovations and five-star rave reviews. It’s a powerful love story, set on a South Pacific island during World War ll, revamped in Evans’ production to tackle its racial prejudice and misogynistic storylines head on. The score is one of the best of any musical and includes Some Enchanted Evening, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, There’s Nothing Like A Dame and Bali Ha’i.

The Chichester production had a cast of 30 and a full orchestra; here’s hoping they don’t cut back for the tour.