Joanna Ampil stars in 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.
The production opens at Manchester Opera House on 16 July 2022 ahead of a season at Sadler’s Wells, London from 27 July to 28 August 2022 followed by a 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 the production which received enormous critical and audience acclaim at Chichester Festival Theatre in the summer of 2021.
You’re starring in South Pacific on tour, what can you tell us about this production?
If you’re familiar with the show from previous productions, then you’ll get a redefined version in ours. The story is clearer, and it’s been updated according to our times now. The roles that had little to say in the past productions were given more of a voice here one way or another.
What was it about Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical that made you want to be a part of it?
I’ve done a couple of Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals before and it’s something that we’ve grown up listening to. It feels like home to me. With regards to being part of South Pacific, there’s a bigger picture here and a bigger responsibility that needs to be said through this platform and that’s why I wanted to be part of this story telling.
You’re playing Bloody Mary, what do you love about the role and what do you find most challenging?
Before taking on the role, Daniel (Evans) wanted to reassure me that our version of Bloody Mary will be different with how she was presented before. I was overwhelmed with the idea as it’s something quite different from the past roles I played. We see the human side of her much more. We show two sides of Bloody Mary in this version, a constructed one and a deconstructed one where we show her real self, apart from the entrepreneurial side of the character. You need to watch it to understand and that’s what makes this role so much richer now.
What are you most looking forward to about touring, and the London run at Sadler’s Wells?
I’m excited that the characters are given more of an opportunity to tell their stories to the rest of the UK, and that more people will get to see this particular version because it has a lot of messages to convey – not just the entertainment and production value but also, tackling all the issues that’s involved in the show. We want people to talk about it and keep that conversation going.
Have you got a favourite memory from the rehearsal room?
Collaborating with Daniel Evans and Ann Yee and making new relationships with the other roles. Making our back stories richer and more layered. The story of Bloody Mary for me is so much clearer now.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see South Pacific?
It will enrich your knowledge and your life with everything the show has to offer. It will give them the opportunity to celebrate emotions.