Monday, February 26

South Pacific Announces Principal Casting

Jamie Wilson, Jonathan Church Theatre Productions and Gavin Kalin are delighted to announce that Julian Ovenden will star as ‘Emile de Becque’ throughout the Sadler’s Wells season and UK and Ireland Tour of the critically acclaimed, landmark Chichester Festival Theatre production of RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S SOUTH PACIFIC alongside the previously announced Gina Beck as ‘Ensign Nellie Forbush’. Julian and Gina will be joined by fellow members of the original Chichester Festival Theatre company; Rob Houchen as ‘Lieutenant Joseph Cable’, Joanna Ampil as ‘Bloody Mary’ and Sera Maehara as ‘Liat’

The production opens at Manchester Opera House on 16th July 2022 ahead of a season at Sadler’s Wells, London from 27th July to 28th August 2022 and throughout the limited 10-week UK and Ireland Tour visiting Dublin, Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Leeds and Canterbury. Chichester’s Artistic Director Daniel Evans, will once again direct Julian, Gina, Rob, Joanna and Sera as they reprise the roles they played to enormous critical and audience acclaim at Chichester Festival Theatre in the summer of 2021.

Full casting to be announced in due course.

This powerful love story, set on a South Pacific Island during World War ll is brought thrillingly to life with a sensational cast of over thirty and a full orchestra in this epic new five-star production directed by Chichester Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Daniel Evans. SOUTH PACIFIC boasts one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most memorable scores, and this much-loved Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical features songs such as “Some Enchanted Evening”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” and “Bali Ha’i”.

Credit: Johan Persson

Julian Ovenden is perhaps best known for playing ‘Charles Blake’ in ITV’s Downton Abbey. He is also an international recording artist and has starred on Broadway and in the West End. His West End credits include All About Eve at the Noel Coward Theatre, Marguerite at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, The Treatment at the Almeida Theatre, and My Night With Reg, Merrily We Roll Along and Grand Hotel at the Donmar Warehouse. On Broadway he has been seen in Showboat with the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Centre and Butley at the Booth Theatre. He has also performed at several of the BBC Proms and played Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music Live on ITV.

Gina Beck’s many West End theatre credits include playing ‘Miss Honey’ in Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre, ‘Magnolia’ in Show Boat at the New London Theatre, ‘Glinda’ in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, ‘Christine Daae’ in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre and ‘Cosette’ in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre. Her television credits include Doctors, The Return of Sherlock Holmes and The Crush. Her film credits include Les Misérables.

Rob Houchen’s West End credits include Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, Les Misérables  The All Star Concert at the Gielgud Theatre, City of Angels at the Garrick Theatre, Godspell in Concert at The Lyric Theatre and Broken Wings at Theatre Royal Haymarket. His other theatre credits include The Light in the Piazza at the Royal Festival Hall, Eugenius! at The Other Palace and Titanic at Charing Cross Theatre.

Joanna Ampil’s West End credits include playing ‘Kim’ in Miss Saigon and at the 10th Anniversary Performance, ‘Mary Magdalene’ in Jesus Chris Superstar, ‘Eponine’ in Les Miserables, ‘Fantine’ in Les Miserables, ‘Grizabella’ in Cats, ‘Christmas Eve’ in Avenue Q and Sheila Franklin in ‘Hair’. Her other theatre credits include ‘Mimi’ in the European Tour of Rent, ‘Thanh’ in the World Premiere of The Real Love in Los Angeles and ‘Maria’ in West Side Story, ‘Maria Von Trapp’ in The Sound of Music, ‘Jenna’ in Waitress and ‘Nellie Forbush’ in South Pacific in Concert, all in Manila.

Sera Maehara’s theatre and dance credits include Warrior Queens at Sadler’s Wells, Qualms directed by Julia Cheng, Carmen for Dance Marche and as a soloist for the Roussewaltz Dance Company and Junior Associate Artist for Fabula Collective, directed by Yukiko Tsukamoto. Her film and television credits include ‘Kaede’ in Kid That Never Fell and ‘Mayu Huruta’ in Pakodate Jin.

SOUTH PACIFIC is directed by Daniel Evans, with set and costume design by Peter McKintosh, and choreography and movement direction from Ann Yee. The Musical Supervisor is Nigel Lilley, Musical Director is Cat Beveridge and new orchestration is by David Cullen, with original Broadway orchestration by Robert Russell Bennett. The lighting designer is Howard Harrison, sound designer is Paul Groothuis, video designer is Gillian Tan, additional arrangements and Happy Talk orchestration is by Theo Jamieson, casting director is Charlotte Sutton CDG and additional children’s casting by Verity Naughton.

SOUTH PACIFIC is produced by Jamie Wilson, Jonathan Church Theatre Productions and Gavin Kalin.