The next interview in our stagey chat series, is with the amazing Sera Maehara, who is currently playing Liat in the Sadler Wells production of South Pacific. Sera has been a part of this production of South Pacific from the beginning, and is now part of the London and UK tour

Get yourself comfy and join Sera and I for a chat about all things stagey!

Hi Sera, thanks so much for chatting to Stage to Page today! How are you? And would you mind introducing yourself and telling us how you first got into acting?
Hi, I’m good thanks! I started acting as a young girl in Tokyo. When I was working, my mother told me that I was always trying to tell a personal story rather than just following the script. I started classic ballet when I was 6. This was to fix my posture at first, but it didn’t take too long before I fell in love with dancing. I started my contemporary dance training in 2014 in a dance company, Roussewaltz in Tokyo. In 2020, I finished my MA in dance performance and choreography in Bedford, then I started working in London. 

You're reprising your role as Liat in South Pacific. What is it about this role that drew you back?
Last year, before and during the rehearsals, Daniel Evans (Director), Ann Yee (Choreographer) and I talked about what Liat represents in this show. She is the nature and history of the island, and she is hopeful and brave. I feel honoured to do this role as I find her story very important to tell today. I also love that she communicates through movement. The choreography feels very natural to me and I’m grateful to be able to share her world. 

Are you excited to bring the production across the UK and Ireland? What have the audience responses been like for the production so far?
I am very excited to bring this show around the UK and Ireland. The audiences have been amazing - we opened in Manchester Opera House before heading to Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. Every show feels different as the audience reacts differently, but I can feel that we are all in the same boat until the last moment, it’s beautiful. 

South Pacific has one of most iconic scores in theatre. Do you have a particular favourite to perform or watch within the show?
Bali Ha’i sung by Joanna Ampil is very magical and magnificent. There Is Nothin' Like a Dame is thrilling and so much fun. A Wonderful Guy sung by Gina Beck is such a joyful one! There are so many other brilliant moments in this show!

What do you enjoy doing when you're not doing theatre?
I enjoy crocheting since I randomly started earlier this year, it’s calming. My grandma loves sewing and crafting so it’s lovely to have a common interest with her!

I have to ask every guest on Stagey Chat this question, my blog is called Stage to Page. But if you could turn any book, from page to stage, what would it be and why?
I would love to see The Moon and Sixpence on stage. Especially the last scene of the painting would look stunning in a space. It’s a beautiful novel and it describes the fundamental struggles for people as an artist and as a human being. 

And finally, why should people book tickets to South Pacific?
This show is a classic a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, full of iconic songs that we all know. The dancing is very exciting and the acting is incredible. The message this show reveals is still very relevant today. I’m very proud to be part of this production. 

You can catch Sera in the last few performances of South Pacific in London, as well as on the UK tour, which starts next month. Buy tickets here.

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