Ex-Eastender star Samantha Womack swaps East End for island life

Samantha Womack as Nellie Forbush and Matthew Cammelle as Emile de Becque in South Pacific
Samantha Womack as Nellie Forbush and Matthew Cammelle as Emile de Becque in South Pacific
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EX-EASTENDER Samantha Womack is set to grace the stage of Nottingham’s Theatre Royal when the most acclaimed production ever of Roger and Hammerstein’s South Pacific comes to town next week.

The production has embarked on a national tour following a sold-out, three Olivier Award-nominated London season, and is at the Theatre Royal from Tuesday 29th May until Saturday 9th June.

Samantha leads the company in the starring role of Nellie Forbush.

As well as her numerous television credits - which includes playing Ronnie Mitchel in Eastenders - she has an impressive background in theatre, including roles in Michael Grandage’s ‘Guys & Dolls’ to Sir Peter Hall’s ‘Betrayal’.

Samantha is starring opposite former ‘Phantom of the Opera’ star, Matthew Camelle as Emile de Becque, Daniel Koek as Lt Joe Cable and Alex Ferns as Luther Billis.

Set on a tropical island during the Second World War, South Pacific is the sweeping romantic story of two couples, threatened by the realities of war and by their own prejudices.

Its portrayal of Americans stationed in an unfamiliar culture during wartime remains as relevant today as when it first thrilled audiences.

The show’s score includes some of the most iconic musical songs of all time, such as ‘Some Enchanted Evening’, ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair’, ‘Happy Talk’ and ‘There is Nothin’ Like a Dame’.

Samantha is relishing the chance to play the role of Nellie and has been getting rave reviews from critics.

She said: “Nellie is wonderfully naïve and she has this huge learning curve, with redemption at the end, so it’s a real rollercoaster part and one of the great female roles.”

The show’s producers are also delighted to announce that one of the stars of the South Pacific US Tour, Jodi Kimura, will be returning to the role of Bloody Mary in the UK Tour.

As well as her critically acclaimed run in the First National US Tour, Jodi has performed in many productions across both musical theatre and opera.

Her most noteworthy musical theatre productions include The Phantom of the Opera, Spelling Bee, Man of La Mancha and The Pirates of Penzance and, as an accomplished operatic performer, her credits include La Bohème, I Pagliacci, Cosi Fan Tutti and Le Nozzi Di Figaro.

Featuring a cast of 40 and live orchestra of 18, this is a ravishing and breathtaking production, which has been brought to the UK by Broadway’s Lincoln Center creative team, led by director Bartlett Sher, with musical staging my Christopher Gattelli, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Scott Lehrer, musical supervision by Ted Sperling and original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett. Musical direction is by Jae Alexander.

The performances at the Theatre Royal start at 7.30pm, with Wednesday and Thursday matinees at 2pm and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.

Tickets are priced at between £16 and £42.50, with concessions available, and can be bought online at www.trch.co.uk or by calling the Box Office on 0115 989 5555.

Further details on the production are also available at www.southpacificonstage.com.