Review: Dewsbury Collegians present South Pacific

LEADING LADY Philippa Johnstone as Nellie Forbush. (d304f423)
LEADING LADY Philippa Johnstone as Nellie Forbush. (d304f423)

As the lights went up on a chorus of sailors singing Bloody Mary with great gusto, it was clear that Dewsbury Collegians were determined to give audiences a night to remember.

Tropical scenery set the mood as heroine Nellie Forbush fell for mysterious Frenchman Emile De Becque.

Leading Lady Philippa Johnstone was fantastic as the wide-eyed American hick getting her first taste of adventure and gave an excellent vocal performance, particularly when leading the ladies in I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair.

She was perfectly matched by Richard Aldham, who brought charm and tenderness to the role of De Becque.

More charm came in the shape of dashing Lt Joseph Cable (Richard Shingleton), while Chris Nuttall brought plenty of fun to proceedings as the mischievous Luther Billis.

But the star for me was Rachel Warlop, who had great fun as Polynesian wheeler-dealer Bloody Mary.

Her wonderful comic performance was matched by a her renditions of Balie Ha’i and well-known show tune Happy Talk.

The standard of musical numbers was high throughout, with Some Enchanted Evening, There Is Nothing Like A Dame and Younger Than Springtime among the best.

After such an entertaining night, it’s easy to see why the Collegians love this show.

• The show is at Dewsbury Town Hall until tomorrow evening. Phone 01924 324501 for availability.