|6 Aug 2019
|ODs Around the World
|Arts & Culture
Simon Thompson (2014K) and James Lister (2010G) both help “breathe technicolour life into a legendary theatrical think-piece”, writes Lindsay Kruger for Broadway World South Africa.
South Pacific is a Rodgers & Hammerstein smash-hit musical which is currently on production at the Artscape Opera, from July 20 to August 10.
The production is described by Lister as, “a glimpse into the not-so-distant past. It's a show with a message that was incredibly progressive when it debuted, and which still has core relevance today. The music brings an added layer of emotion to what is happening on the stage, bringing an energetic or sombre tone to the show, as is needed.”
The backdrop for the musical is a year after the events of Pearl Harbour on an island in the South Pacific during WW2, where American soldiers and nurses are stationed. Nellie, a spunky nurse falls for a French soldier while Lieutenant Joseph Cable becomes infatuated with the daughter of a local grass-Skirt peddler. Both must deal with old prejudices and insecurities as the war escalates.
Thompson, who plays the role of Cable, was involved in many Bishops productions under the tutelage of Wayne Tucker. These experiences, he says, prepared him for a role of this magnitude.
“I truly learnt a lot during my high school years from being involved in these productions, as well as the annual Eisteddfod competition. Performing for peers and parents at school gave me the confidence to perform for complete strangers on a much larger stage!”
While Biloxi Blues (2012), Oklahoma (2013) and The Great Gatsby, Thompson played the lead role in the latter, are no small feats, The Artscape is a different animal entirely.
“South Pacific is definitely the largest production that I have ever been a part of, and it is the first time that I am playing a lead role in a musical!” He goes on, “Although daunted by the prospect at first, I have warmed to the entire experience and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to perform with a live orchestra on the Artscape Opera House stage!”
Lister forms part of the men’s ensemble and has a minor supporting role on alternating nights.
“Being in a production of the scale of South Pacific is an incredible opportunity as it is a scale that one would normally associate with professional productions.”
We would like to commend both Simon and James on this achievement.
The principal roles are double-cast, meaning Thompson has only 5 shows remaining. These specific dates can be found at the end of this article.
South Pacific is a three-hour long production, which includes a 30 min interval, with tickets ranging from R140-R290.
For more information please follow the link below;