Theatre Review - Blackburn Musical Theatre Company present South Pacific

South Pacific – Blackburn Musical Theatre Company

South Pacific – Blackburn Musical Theatre Company - Credit: Archant

Rob Gemmell reviews the Blackburn Musical Theatre Company production of South Pacific at the Thwaites Empire Theatre, Blackburn on Thursday 14th May.

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein are two names synonymous to the world of musical theatre with their work being showcased across the world in a career spanning seven decades. One of their musicals, adapted from the Pulitzer winning short story by James A. Michener, is the renowned South Pacific which is performed by Blackburn Musical Theatre Company.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical practically explodes onto the set with detailed scenery, an array of lights and colours and a composition by the wonderful accompanying band with Musical Director Chris Andrews at the helm providing a magnificent score to the backdrop of the tale.

The story takes place on the Pacific Islands, one of which is the base for a number of navy constructional engineers and nurses. One of the nurses, Nellie Forbush, meets and subsequently falls in love with one of the islands inhabitants, Emile de Becque. Emile is asked by Lieutenant Joe Cable, who is posted onto the island to spy on the Japanese, to help him visit the island which he knows so well, but declines the offer due to his new found love. Nellie then discovers Emile is father to two children born to a native mother who passed away and struggles to deal with it leaving Emile empty and alone which becomes the deciding factor in him helping out Joe Cable and possibly risking never seeing his family or Nellie again.

The Blackburn Musical Theatre Company has a plethora of talent at hand and such was evident in their rendition of this classic musical. Becky Worthy played the role of Nellie with strong decorum accompanied by a graceful presence and beautiful singing voice. Roy Washington was superb as Emile with his calm demeanour and perfected accent balancing out a wonderful acting performance with a great singing voice to complement. Nicholas Gunn played the role of Joe Cable who showed an extremely professional performance as a musical actor. His voice echoed around the packed auditorium with immensity and ease portraying a clear talent. The musical also offered many comedic moments and these were executed perfectly by Brenda Murray as Bloody Mary and Edward Munday as Luther Billis who both had truly exceptional vocal abilities as well.

The supporting ensembles of both men and women were made up of a large number of the group who all worked hard and performed their roles flawlessly to keep in with the sometimes quick themes of the musical. Choreographer Katie Fry had a lot of work to do to pull off some of the shows impressive and lengthy dance routines, but achieved them beautifully in an arrangement of colours and movements that had the audience enthralled throughout.

Blackburn Musical Theatre Company have showcased a lot of talent and provided a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening with a performance that would do the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein proud.

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The show is on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th May at 7:30pm. Book early to avoid disappointment as tickets are selling fast and, on this evidence, I am not surprised.

For more information regarding Blackburn Musical Theatre Company, you can visit their website at -

For more information about the Thwaites Empire Theatre or to book tickets, visit the website at - @RobGemmell1