There Is Nothing Like A Dame!

Last weekend I went to see South Pacific at the Barbican. How I wish I could have smuggled my sewing friends in under my coat. I was thinking of you all. So Zo was particularly at the front of my mind as sailors and nautical ladies danced around the stage. I think Zoe would have been carried out of the theatre due to nautical-induced hyperventilating.

Did you know that this 1949 musical also features dressmaking? The ladykiller sailor, Luther, earns pocket money by making outfits for Nellie Forbush (that surname is a joke, right?) and even grass skirts for Bloody Mary to sell.

As well as jiggling along in my seat to corker songs such as ‘There Is Nothing Like A Dame!’ and ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair’, I came away with renewed respect for this musical. It tackles big topics, the biggest being racism. This must have been fairly radical when the musical premiered and how clever to make the audience squirm in their seats as well as jiggle along to songs.

Other sewing that featured on the day was a carry case my mum had made for my camera-mad sister. Mandy had requested something to carry her tripod around in and this is what Mum had made:

It’s lined in felt:

Clever Mummy

I really recommend going to see this musical – it’s on until 1 October.

TRIVIA FOR FACT FANS! I sang ‘Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair’ with the Rita Owen Theatre Dance School at the Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield, when I was a teenager in the Eighties. I wasn’t much cop at dancing, but I could sing. A bit. Hot diggity, I should dig out some old photos. Rita’s mum sewed all the costumes for every production we put on. How?!!!

UPDATE I’ve asked my mum to dig out some of the old photos. She says, and I quote, that she’s ‘having such a laugh’ and that I may want to ‘change my mind’ about going public. How bad can those photos be?

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10 Responses to There Is Nothing Like A Dame!

  1. I loved this blog. Such a feel good post that makes me want to see South Pacific very much. I now have ‘I’m gonna wash that man…’ going round and round in my head. I live near Chesterfield and know the Pomegranate well. Your mum is mighty clever too. I may have to borrow her!

  2. Carly says:

    You DEFINITELY have to share Karen! Looking forward to it!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t know. I might be very afraid if my mom was worried already on my behalf. 😉 Can’t wait!!!

  4. Uta says:

    I danced in a South Pacific production as a teenage foreign exchange student in the U.S. (in the 80s, of course!). I’d love to see photos; I’ve no idea where mine are, but I’m looking forward to seeing yours!

  5. prttynpnk says:

    Must see pictures! I managed to miss working South Pacific during my theatre days but I did see Robert Goulets final tour years back!

  6. yesilikethat says:

    I saw this earlier in September, isn’t it fabulous? Loved the costumes. Did you recognise who was playing Luther Billis? I didn’t until my sister nudged me and hissed loudly ‘That’s evil Trevor from Eastenders!!’ He did a great job, I reckon!

    Looking forward to seeing the pics – no changing your mind now!

    • Yes! It’s also an ex-Eastenders actress who plays the main female part. Plus, when we were there, we saw two Eastenders actors in the audience so we were well-pleased with our TV celebrity spotting.

  7. Tanit-Isis says:

    Oh, man. I watched the movie version of this so many times as a kid…

    Now I’m going to have those songs stuck in my head all right.

    I, too, want to see the pics.

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