At the tender age of fifteen, Amy believed she was going to be the first female equivalent of Rodgers and Hammerstein II and mounted a production of her first completed musical.  

South Sea Island Blues was a skit on one of her favourite shows, South Pacific.   Whilst at boarding school, she auditioned feverishly and, despite the reluctance of fair English public schoolgirls coming forward to audition for a part as of one of the heavily tattooed sailors, she got the project off the ground.

Casting herself in the leading role of Nollie Fairtree, she included one of South Pacific’s most iconic songs, Honey Bun in the score … as a tribute to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

She had always intended to cast herself in the lead role. She learnt Nellie Forbush’s part off by heart by the age of six and after that, she was often asked to perform Honey Bun by any easily manipulated audience.  Unfortunately,  this self-indulgent casting caused some friction between herself and Connie Cookson who, unbeknown to all her friends, was harbouring an ambition to make acting her career.  An ambition sadly squashed when she left school and auditioned for RADA.

Amy did write some big songs for this one-off performance, especially the finale number, inevitably called South Sea Island Blues, managing to get the audience, who consisted of village locals, and teachers, on their feet and singing along …

I’ve got m’look, I’ve got the sun, I’ve got m’number one tan,

I’ve got the South … sea … island bluoooooes!

South Sea Island Blues

Amy’s performance as Nollie Fairtree singing Honey Bun bought the house down, much to Connie’s pique.  She was pleased with how the show had gone, especially the part about raising £300 for charity.

After the initial post-production fervor, it was time to knuckle down and study for her O’Levels.   During her spare time, she wrote short stories and articles for magazines.  Seeing her work in print, so soon after she had written them, gave her a buzz.   Maybe pursuing her dream to win a Grammy for a musical might take a very long time.  South Sea Island Blues was the first and the last musical theatre production Amy ever wrote after deciding to pursue a career in journalism instead.

 

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Written by Tessa Barrie

Writer and blogger from Jersey in the Channel Islands UK who believes life is too short to be niche. 🙃 Currently working on her first novel.

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