28 October to 1 November 2014
Reviewed by Natasha Kolb
To me, a visit to the Derngate Theatre in Northampton is always a treat. It’s nicely modernised in a way that feels luxurious without the high price tickets to match! Parking is reasonably priced and within easy walking distance of the theatre.
I was really keen to see South Pacific because even though I’m a child of the eighties, thanks to my grandparents I was brought up on the music from this show and was even taken to a performance of it on my teens. I was interested up see of this performance would bring back those memories for me.
South Pacific is set on a paradise island during World War 2 telling the parallel love stories of Nellie, Emile Joe Cable and Liat.
This show was performed by members of the amateur theatre group, Northampton Musical Theatre Company, the N.M.T.C so obviously I should review it as such… an armature production by people giving their time voluntarily. However, from the very start, this high quality performance bordered on professional, the sets were perfect and the costumes were fabulous. The acting and in particular the singing was mostly of a very high standard, especially if you take into account first night nerves! Dan Hodson taking the part of the comical Luther Billis and Susie Pack playing Bloody Mary were notably outstanding and every bit as good as you would expect from professional theatre.
A definite highlight to this production is the live orchestra who played to a very high standard throughout. They turned what is fundamentally an amateur production into something else, again bordering on professional. We were treated to a medley of the shows classic songs prior to the start of the show and the orchestra continued to accompany each number. In fact they played near constantly adding atmospheric sound effects throughout.
The second half of the show was even better, with the story becoming more involved and Luther Billis bringing more hilarious comedy moments! My only criticism is of the American accents, not for the lack of effort on each actors part in getting them right but it may have been best to lose them altogether! However, this show really brought back the memories from my childhood and I found myself singing along to all the wonderful songs!
With ticket prices starting at just £10 this is absolutely worth a visit, especially with it taking place at the Derngate making it a very affordable special evening out. I give it a well-deserved 4 out of 5.
Tickets cost from £10 to £22 (plus £2.80 transaction fee).
South Pacific is at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton until 1 November 2014. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01604 624811.
Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811