After waving farewell to my visitors yesterday morning, I waited for Lesley to turn up and the two of us drove over to Jackie's in Billericay. After a coffee, we made our way down to Billericay station and ended up in the Barbican area of London where we had a late, leisurely lunch before wandering around, chatting, reminiscing, catching up on each other's news . . . it was lovely. Jackie, Lesley and I are old friends, once school colleagues (they have both retired now) and we all get on really well.
At seven we made our way to the Barbical theatre for South Pacific. The reviews are mixed for this show which premiered on Monday. They talk of wonderful singing (This Nearly Was Mine brought tears to my eyes, it was so beautiful), a fantastic orchestra, economical but excellent scenery and a good drawing out of the racial tensions within the storyline with particular mention of the outstandingly spooky and manipulative interpretation of Bloody Mary as well as the liveliness and comedy brought to the part of Billis by Alex Fearns. However, and I agree with them, the acting was wooden in places and there was no frisson between Nellie and Emile - they were very competent but there was no chemistry there. And they really do need to reprise a big song right at the end while taking their bows - that was definitely an anticlimax.
However, having said all of that, it was a whale of an evening, thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, I wouldn't have missed it for worlds.