1951 West End Premiere
South Pacific made its West End premiere at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on November 1, 1951, with Mary Martin reprising the role of Nellie, this time opposite Wilbur Evans as Emile de Becque. The production would run for almost two years, totaling 802 performances. Featured in the ensemble was Martin’s son, Larry Hagman, who would later go on to star in such TV shows as I Dream of Jeanie and Dallas. In the subsequent UK tour, the ensemble included a young unknown actor named Sean Connery.
The 1951 original West End cast recording of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific features Wilbur Evans, Peter Grant, Muriel Smith and the original recordings of Mary Martin’s solo vocals, used again for this new recording. The orchestra and cast were conducted by the production’s musical director, Reginald Burston, with Robert Russell Bennett’s original orchestrations.