It's South Pacific - from Wey Valley

Xavier Barsky (Emile De Becque) and Zoe Day (Nellie Forbush)

Xavier Barsky (Emile De Becque) and Zoe Day (Nellie Forbush)

First published in Stage

DESPITE academic pressure and heavy snow, Wey Valley School’s flamboyant production of South Pacific is all set to go ahead next week.

The school is renowned for staging high quality musicals once a year at Weymouth Pavilion and this barn-storming production looks set to continue the trend.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s smash hit musical is a lively and colourful show set in the Pacific Islands during the Second World War.

Packed with light-hearted moments and some of the most catchy tunes from the musical theatre canon – including Nothing Like a Dame and I’m Gonna Wash that man Right out of your Hair – South Pacific also touches on more serious issues such as racism and the effects of war on civilians.

Junior nurse Nellie Forbush (played by Zoe Day) is in love with middle-aged Frenchman Emile de Becque (Xavier Barsky). But while their love grows, she is also turned against him by the fact that is the father of two dark-skinned children.

Meanwhile, American lieutenant Jo Cable (Warren Hicks) also falls for the beautiful Liat (Sarah Hooper), the daughter of feisty grass skirt seller Bloody Mary (Lilly Markwell). But like Nellie, he too has reservations about their relationship because of the colour of Liat’s skin.

However, when the war comes to the island and the young lovers are separated, everyone comes to realise that there are greater things to worry about than skin colour and prejudice.

South Pacific director Margot Stanley said: “It is a classic show, it is bright and funny and the perfect antidote to these grey February days. The costumes are bright, it is set in a sunny place, what more could you want?

“Getting it ready has been quite a battle – not helped at all by the snow – but the kids came in and are loving doing it. It has really caught their imagination.”

She added: “The cast have been fantastic this year, as always. Zoe is a complete trooper and Xavier is just brilliant. Even the lads who play the sailors have come up trumps too.”

South Pacific is at Weymouth Pavilion from Wednesday to Friday, February 11 to 13, with performances at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 plus concessions from the box office on 01305 7832225.

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