South Pacific

South Pacific

By Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

Season 28 May-12 June 1999
Venue Belconnen Theatre


Some theatre companies open their production of South Pacific with the block-busting number Bloody Mary. PhoenixPLAYERS chose to open the show as it was written, with the children who represent the union of races and cultures - which is what South Pacific is all about.

The idyllic setting of the islands and the beauty and simplicity of the people is used as the setting to relate a story about the invasion of traditional values by modernity, commercialism and racism.

The action of the play takes place on two small adjacent islands in the South Pacific during World War II. It involves sailors, marines and nurses of the US forces and the natives of the islands.


Director Roy Scamp
Assistant Director Ian Davenport
Musical Directors Jenni Mersiades, Sally McCrae
Choreographers Amanda Clarke, Jenni Hill
Production Manager Bob Morris
Stage Manager Santo Guiliano
Assistant Stage Manager Alex Hildyard
Set Design James Stone, Petra Webb
Costume Design Fiona Trevethan
Lighting Design John Kelly, Travis Harpley
Sound Design Steve Herczeg, Delux
Props Alex Hildyard
Crew Alex Hildyard, Daniel Widdowson, Matthew Butters, Kieren Phillips, Joel Dee, Claire Martin, John Kelly and Myles Leon


Nellie Forbush Sue Lake-Harris
Emile De Becque Robert Grice
Lt Joe Cable Sean Ladlow
Luther Billis Frank Farrell
Bloody Mary Katrina Chagall
Liat Melissa Franks
Captain Brackett Peter Benisch
William Harbinson John Beard
Ngana Rebecca Franks, Anna Johnstone
Jerome Rory Linehan, Johnny Morris
Female Chorus  
Bessie Noonan Tempe Archer
Sue Jaeger Lindy Bancroft
Genevieve Marshall Anne Beard
Janet McGregor Ann Blyth
Lisa Manelli Margaret Franks
Pamela Whitmore Jackie Hudson
Dinah Murphy Jayne McLaren
Connie Walewska Melissa Roberts
Betty Pitt Lisa Snushall
Male Chorus  
'Stewpot' Watts Daniel Clode
Victor Jordan Andrew Clucas
Kenneth Johnson Gary Collinson
Hamilton Steeves Matthew Ding
Herbert Quale Rodwell Faulkner
Buzz Adams Luke Folkard
Bob McCaffery Steve Herczeg
Richard West Bill Kolentsis
Thomas Hossinger Andrew Linacre
L'il Abner Arthur McGregor
Tom O'Brien Bob Morris
'Professor' Richard Niven
Sven Larsen/Marcel Kevin Playford
Henri Roy Scamp


In what was meant to be an ensemble scene, Peter Benisch (Captain Brackett) was supposed to deliver the line:

"We can't find a native to milk a cow or pick a coconut"

Most of the time, Peter delivered this line with great conviction to Sean (Joe Cable) and Katrina (Bloody Mary). However, one night Peter experienced one of those awkward moments that hit all performers occasionally. In that moment, the line that came out was:

"We can't find a cow to pick a coconut"

Sean did a marvellous job keeping in character (he didn't even flinch) but director Roy Scamp had to dash into the wings to the change rooms, covering his mouth with his hand in a futile attempt to muffle his laughter.

- Rodwell Faulkner