South Pacific

Though unquestionably enjoyable, Bartlett Sher’s substantially recast hit Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical of miscegenation and war time manoeuvres seems to have lost a touch of magic on its transatlantic journey.

There’s seriousness as well as larking about, and praise to Samantha Womack’s engaging Nurse Nellie Forbush, defying a broken toe to “Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair.”

But it’s the gorgeous melodies – some eminently hummable (like “Happy Talk” delivered with calculating persuasiveness by Loretta Ables Sayre’s Tonkinese Bloody Mary), others (including “Younger than Springtime”) lush and heartfelt – which, along with the thrilling baritone of Paulo Szot as an exiled French planter with two mixed race children, really make this show.

Barbican, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
020 7638 8891
Tube: Barbican
Untill October 1
£15.00 – £85.00

-Louise Kingsley