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Jean returns to South Pacific - 52 years later

CURTAIN CALL Jean Jackson outside Dewsbury Hall, where the Collegians perform South Pacific from June 11. d314d420

CURTAIN CALL Jean Jackson outside Dewsbury Hall, where the Collegians perform South Pacific from June 11. d314d420

A veteran actress is looking forward to the Dewsbury Collegian’s production of South Pacific – 52 years after playing the lead.

Jean Jackson appeared as Nellie Forbush in the theatre group’s 1962 production at the age of 21.

And having performed professionally across Yorkshire, she is now excited to see the curtain rise as president of the group. There have been a few changes over the years. “We performed in what was then the Playhouse Cinema. It was big and we had no theatre in Dewsbury, so we had to use whatever we could find,” she said.

“There were 1,700 seats and we had to fill it. But we had the house full notice out.

“In those days there was all the mills and the workers used to come by. We were very well supported by them.”

Jean has been involved in theatre since the age of 15 and became president of the Collegians – where she met her husband Barry – during their production of Oliver six years ago.

She said: “Now we have to work very hard to get bums on seats. But you still get a buzz out of rehearsals, of watching it come together.

“We have some extremely talented people – the week of the show will be terrific. It brings back a lot of memories.

“It is somewhere people can go and express themselves. I can’t tell you how therapeutic it is.”

The production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific will be held at Dewsbury Town Hall from June 11-14. Jean, who lives in Thornhill Edge, said: “It’s the music that makes it memorable. It’s a beautiful score.

“Philippa, who plays the lead, is going to be absolutely wonderful. It’s a joy for me to watch her.”

Tickets cost £11 (concessions £9.50) for the stalls and £12.50 for the balcony, with all stalls tickets priced £8 on June 11. Discounts are also available for block bookings.

Phone 01924 492742, 01924 468653, 01924 406790 or 01924 324501.

 
 
 

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