Posted on 18 March 2011

The transfer of Bartlett Shers' production of South Pacific from the Lincoln Center on Broadway, which won 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival will go ahead this summer at the Barbican Centre with the musical running from 15 August to 1 October 2011 with Samantha Womack (nee Janus) tipped to tread the boards as Nellie Forbush.

The 1949 Rogers and Hammerstein musical was last seen in the West End ten years ago when it was revived by Trevor Nunn at the National Theatre, timed to celebrate the centenary of Richard Rodgers' birth . That outing won Philip Quast the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Emile de Becque.  South Pacific was also toured by UK Productions in 2007.

The New York revival starred Kelli O'Hara as nurse Nellie Forbush and Tony winner Paulo Szot as Emile DeBecque, the French plantation owner who falls for her. Joe Cable was originally played by Matthew Morrison, who is now better known as teacher Will Schuester in Glee. He was replaced later in the run by Andrew Samonsky due to Morrison's TV schedule.

Samantha Womack's previous stage credits include a 2004 tour of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal and, in the West End, Guys and Dolls and Grease.

South Pacific will commence its national tour in Milton Keynes on 12 October, going on to play the Palace Theatre, Manchester and the Theatre Royal Glasgow before finishing at the Bristol Hippodrome on 3 December 2011 with the possibility the production will return to the Barbican in 2012 after completing its tour.

Set during World War II, South Pacific is the sweeping romantic story of two couples, threatened by the realities of war. Its portrayal of Americans stationed in an alien culture in wartime is as relevant today as when it first thrilled audiences.

The story draws from James A Michener's Pulitzer prize winning 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific weaving together characters and elements from several of its stories into a single plotline, the musical won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950.   The issue of racial prejudice was sensitively and candidly explored at a time when few musicals engaged in serious social commentary.

South Pacific is considered to be one of the greatest Broadway musicals.   Several of its songs, including Bali Ha'i, I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, Some Enchanted Evening, Happy Talk, Younger than Springtime and I'm In Love With A Wonderful Guy have become worldwide standards.

With a cast of 40 and a live orchestra of 25, this international hit landmark production arrives at the Barbican for a strictly limited 7 week London season.

Book South Pacific tickets online now

[Posted by Louise, 18/03/2011]