As the lights dimmed and the familiar sight of the conductor in the shape of Alan Pring appeared and struck up the overture of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, my heart was infused with delight and I started to hum along with the rest of a sell-out audience.
This was South Downe Musical Society’s version of this glorious musical and it’s easy to forget this production has a serious side when you’re looking at a bunch of handsome sailor boys and scantily clad women.
Lauren Kempton played the vivacious and likeable nurse Nellie Forbush with sassy conviction. Nellie is horrified to discover the Frenchman she has fallen for has a bit of a past, and has two mixed-race children with a Polynesian woman he was once with. But it’s not all weighty drama – there are some great feel-good tunes, with a ballsy Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair and a fun There’s Nothing Like a Dame from those sailor boys.
Its hugely enjoyable, and I certainly had some enchanted evening.