Young stars head to city for South Pacific production
Bath Light Operatic Group (BLOG) is set to present Rodgers and Hammerstein's smash hit South Pacific at the Theatre Royal, Bath, from Tuesday.
Considered to be one of the finest musicals ever written, the score of soaring numbers featured in this much-loved romantic tale includes Some Enchanted Evening, Younger Than Springtime, I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair, Happy Talk and There Is Nothin' Like A Dame.
On a seemingly idyllic tropical island a troop of American sailors and Navy nurses are stationed during the Second World War.
Romance blossoms between the Americans and the islanders, but as the conflict with Japan escalates, two parallel love stories are threatened by the realities of war and prejudice.
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BLOG presents a 35-strong company in South Pacific performing on stage at the Theatre Royal accompanied by a 17-piece orchestra.
Rehearsals for this production have been underway since May.
The cast members, aged between eight to 76 years, come from across the local region and includes David Baxter, from Paulton, stars opposite Maisie Carter, from Holcombe.
David and Maisie talks to Your Time about what theatre-goers can expect.
Can you tell us about South Pacific and the character you play?
David: South Pacific is set in the years after Pearl Harbour on an American base imposed on a French colonial island in the South Pacific.
I play Lieutenant Joe Cable, a marine sent to the island with orders from the fleet, but who gets distracted from his task.
Without giving too much away, he falls hopelessly in love with a native girl and has to fight his culturally implanted views on interracial relationships.
Maisie: My character, Liat, is forced into meeting an American soldier called Cable, by her mother, Bloody Mary, who wants to marry her off into a better life.
Liat falls in love with Cable but tragedy strikes during a military operation behind enemy lines leaving her broken hearted.
Which songs or dance routines are you looking forward to performing?
I am particularly looking forward to performing Happy Talk as I am going to get the opportunity to perform a small dance routine on the Theatre Royal's stage.
David: Younger than Springtime because it's such an iconic song - I hope to do it justice!
How have rehearsals been going?
David: Brilliantly, it has been my first time working with this production team and with Maisie.
It has been an enriching experience, with everyone encouraging our journey to the stage.
Maisie: I always look forward to going to rehearsals during the week as the group is so welcoming and I always have such a laugh when I am there.
Can you tell us how you became involved with BLOG?
Maisie: My dad, Tristan Carter, joined BLOG in 2008, and he went on to play leading roles in their productions of Sweeney Todd, Beauty and the Beast, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and many more shows.
Through him I came to learn more about the group and I spent many nights watching their rehearsals when I was young, until some time ago when the director asked me to join the group to play this role.
David: I was brought in from the Dorothy Coleborn School of Dance to play the role of young Cosmo in BLOG's production of Singing in the Rain and I decided, after my education, to join full-time.
Coming from Holcombe and Paulton did you perform with any local theatre groups?
Maisie: I frequently perform with Curtain Up Theatre School, where I go to for weekly training, one-to-one lessons and to perform in large scale productions.
David: Alas, no. By the time my parents moved out here I was already at the Royal Ballet School.
How many years have you been performing in theatre and what attracted you to the stage?
Maisie: I have been performing since the age of five, when I began my training with Curtain Up. Since then I have performed in both amateur and professional productions across the UK.
I have always had a passion for acting for as long as I can remember, and I hope to pursue an acting career once I have finished my A-levels.
David: I saw my older sister perform as a dancer in a pantomime at the Bristol Hippodrome when I was four years old and I signed up for dance classes the next week.
What can people expect when they take their seats for South Pacific?
David: A story to tug at the heart strings and a musical score that most people will know.
I would like to thank Maisie for playing opposite me and I hope that our supporters enjoy every moment.
Maisie: Audiences can expect a wonderful evening's entertainment filled with beautifully sung, memorable songs.
The set will transport you to a warmer climate, and the dance routines will make you want to join in, and it's all presented by local performers who will delight audiences old and new.
■ Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal box office on 01225 448844.