South Pacific, Trevor Nunn's production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical to mark the centenary of Richard Rodgers' birth, has already taken £1.1 million at the box office, ahead of the Dec. 12 opening (with previews from Dec. 3).
Selling on the strength of Nunn as Director and Matthew Bourne as choreographer (not to mention the tunes), the box office takings also reflect the National's loyal regular audience and advance booking mailing list, which therefore make it less vulnerable than commercial West End theatres to any drop in American audiences.
In an encouraging sign for director-designate Nicholas Hytner, his production of Mark Ravenhill's Mother Clap's Molly House has recently been playing to 100% capacity. So though the rain may be lashing Shaftesbury Avenue, the sun is definitely shining on the South Bank.
National Theatre Box Office: 020 7452 3000.
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow