Musical with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, with book by Oscar Hammerstein II based on Ferenc Molnar's play Liliom. The story of the love affair between the smooth-talking carousel barker, Billy Bigelow, and a naive young mill worker, Julie Jordan. This landmark musical broke the mould with its gritty, courageous and emotional look at relationships when it opened on Broadway in 1945 since when the show has captivated audiences across the world with one of the most ravishing and celebrated scores of all time which features The Carousel Waltz; If I Loved You; June is Bustin' Out All Over; and You'll Never Walk Alone.
Original West End Production - Drury Lane 1950
Opened 7 June 1950, Closed 13 October 1951 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London
The cast featured Iva Withers as 'Julie Jordan', Stephen Douglass as 'Billy Bigelow', Margot Moser as 'Carrie Pipperidge', Eric Mattson as 'Enoch Snow' and Marion Ross as 'Nettie Fowler'. Directed by Jerome Whyte, from the original by Rouben Mamoulian, with choreography by Agnes de Mille, sets by Jo Mielziner and costumes by Miles White.
1st West End Revival - National Theatre / Shaftesbury Theatre 1993
Previewed 1 December 1992, Opened 10 December 1992, Closed 27 March 1993 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre
Transferred 16 September 1993, Closed 27 March 1994 at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London
The original cast featured Joanna Riding as 'Julie Jordan', Michael Hayden as 'Billy Bigelow', Janie Dee as 'Carrie Pipperidge', Clive Rowe as 'Enoch Snow' and Patricia Routledge as 'Nettie Fowler'. Directed by Nicholas Hytner with choreography by Kenneth MacMillan, designs by Bob Crowley, lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Paul Groothuis.
2nd West End Revival - Savoy Theatre 2008
Previewed 22 November 2008, Opened 2 December 2008, Closed 20 June 2009 at the Savoy Theatre in London
A major revival of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel in London starring Jeremiah James, Alexandra Silber and Lesley Garrett.
The cast for this revival of Carousel in London features Alexandra Silber as 'Julie Jordan', Jeremiah James as 'Billy Bigelow', Lauren Hood as 'Carrie Pipperidge', Alan Vicary as 'Enoch Snow' and Lesley Garrett as 'Nettie Fowler'. This production, which comes into London's West End following a UK regional tour, is directed by Lindsay Posner with choreography by Adam Cooper, sets by William Dudley, costumes by Deidre Clancey and lighting by Peter Mumford. Alexandra Silber returns to the Savoy Theatre where she was most recently seen in the award-winning production of Fiddler On The Roof. Jeremiah James is probably best known as a member of the internationally renowned recording group, Teatro. Lesley Garrett, CBE, Britain's most popular soprano, was most recently seen in her featured role in The Sound of Music at The London Palladium as the 'Mother Abbess'.
"It may be winter outside, but inside the Savoy Theatre, June is bustin' out all over in Lindsay Posner's full-blooded and moving new revival of Carousel, Rodgers and Hammerstein's darkly romantic musical of doomed love, domestic violence and muscular melodies... Adam Cooper's choreography and William Dudley's ocean projections bring to boisterous life the brawny harpooners and happy picnickers in this New England sea-faring community. Give it a whirl." The Mail on Sunday
"In the midst of a cold, joyless and heavily indebted London, the Savoy Theatre has come up with an explosion of colour, extravagance and life with Carousel... A tremendous Christmas treat. The sets are stunning and at one point I counted 19 people on stage. I doubt anyone will be able to afford to put anything like this on again for quite some time. See this show now - while you can still afford it and while the producers can, too." The Sunday Telegraph
"Unfortunately, the new version at the Savoy Theatre fails to capture its magic. It looks ravishing: William Dudley's opening set of the fairground fairly takes the breath away, and it gets even better as we switch to a gorgeous night-time promenade, with the moon setting over a gently rippling sea. Some of the big ensemble dance numbers are terrific, too - June Is Bustin' out All Over, A Real Nice Clambake - yet dramatically it fails to ignite. Alexandra Silber, as Julie Jordan, has a mischievous grin, wise beyond her years, and a soaring singing voice. She is no mean actress, either. Jeremiah James, as Billy Bigelow, however, is weaker, full of masculine swagger that will appeal to the hen-party crowd, but not much else... Whatever the reason, there is nowhere near enough chemistry between the two leads. Things are not helped, perhaps, by Carousel's slightly unfashionable subtext: that wife-beating doesn't really hurt if she truly lurves him. The director, Lindsay Posner, fails to find much pathos in what can be the most moving of all musicals, what with the clumsily unexpressed love between Julie and Billy, and the latter's sudden, shocking death... This Carousel, sadly, is a rather creaky old merry-go-round." The Sunday Times
Lesley Garrett, who plays the role of 'Nettie Flower' in this revival of Carousel in London says: "It's a very natural and easy thing for me to do musicals. There are lots of lovely roles for more mature singers in musical theatre, which I'm not necessarily finding the opportunity to do in opera. What I have in Nettie Fowler is the richest, most wonderful character... For me Carousel is the musical's musical. I think it's the greatest musical Rodgers and Hammerstein ever wrote - it was certainly Rodgers' absolute favourite. And I'm attracted to it because of its darkness it is almost operatic in that respect. People tend to associate musicals with lighter subjects - it's unusual for them to have such incredibly dark and profound meaning. And the music is just heavenly too - it has some of their very best songs. June is Bustin' Out All Over is just fabulously funny - and then I have to sing this icon of a song, You'll Never Walk Alone, which has an almost hymn-like status."
Carousel at the Savoy Theatre previewed from 22 November 2008, opened on 2 December 2008 and closed on 20 June 2009.
London Revival - ENO Coliseum 2017
Previewed 7 April 2017, Opened 11 April 2017, Closed on 13 May 2017 at the London Coliseum
A major revival of the classic musical Carousel in London starring Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe in a semi-staged presentation - for 41 performances only!
Presented by English National Opera, the cast features Katherine Jenkins as 'Julie Jordan' (except 18 April 2017), Alfie Boe as 'Billy Bigelow' and Nicholas Lyndhurst as 'Star Keeper/Dr Seldon' with Alex Young as 'Carrie Pipperidge', Gavin Spokes as 'Enoch Snow' and Brenda Edwards as 'Nettie Fowler'. Please note that Katherine Jenkins is not scheduled to appear on Tuesday 18 April 2017. All casting subject to change. Directed by Lonny Price with choreography by Josh Rhodes, sets by James Noone, costumes by Tracy Christensen, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Mick Potter. Music by Richard Rodgers with book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the play Liliom by Ferenc Molnáras, adapted by Benjamin F. Glaser.
Katherine Jenkins makes her musical stage debut in this production. Alfie Boe's West End credits include playing the role of Valjean in Les Miserables. Nicholas Lyndhurst's London theatre credits include Trevor Nunn's revival of Shakespeare's The Tempest, with Ralph Fiennes, at the Haymarket Theatre in 2011 and Sir Peter Hall's revival of Ronald Harwood's comedy-drama The Dresser, playing opposite Julian Glover, at the Duke of York's Theatre in 2005.
When this revival opened in April 2017, Neil Norman in the Daily Express praised how this revival "delivers in every respect... With an orchestra that stretches literally from wall to wall and striking choreography by Josh Rhodes, this is a resounding triumph." Paul Taylor in the i Newspaper hailed "Lonny Price's ravishing revival." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times explained that "it's a mixed ride. Musically, it may indeed leave you giddy: the orchestra's handling of the score is glorious — delicate, sweeping, witty. The singing of the ensemble in Lonny Price's staging is rich and uplifting and the delivery of the two leads soaring and vivid... But though musically ravishing, this fairground ride is emotionally underpowered." Michael Billington in the Guardian commented that it is "an almost total joy... a pleasure to hear singers of the calibre of Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins in the lead roles and to luxuriate in a 42-piece orchestra bringing out the rich colours of Rodgers’s score... The only paradox about Lonny Price’s excellent revival is the use of the term 'semi-staged': it looks pretty complete to me." Dominic Maxwell in the Times noted how Katherine Jenkins "impresses in a beguiling if uneven show in which it is co-star Alfie Boe whose full-monty operatic singing is shown up by his narrow acting range... More than 70 years after it was first staged, this is a marvellously persuasive mix of the mainstream and the modernist." Claire Allfree in the Metro highlighted that "in Lonny Price's lovely-looking but frustratingly bland revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical about the doomed love affair between Julie Jordan and bad-boy circus worker Billy Bigelow, it's Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe who provided the raison d'etre. Both are supremely talented singers with a huge fan base - but neither can act... A 42-piece orchestra does full justice to a score rich in big-bellied beauties, including You'll Never Walk Alone. There's also an entertaining turn from Nicholas Lyndhurst as the Starkeeper. Carousel is a musical drenched in operatic emotion. There might be plenty on display in the singing but none of it feels earned." Rupert Christiansen in the Daily Telegraph thought that "Lonnie Price has adequately directed what one might call a threequarters production, updating the setting to the Thirties and using projections as scenery. The opening sequence is a mess, the dancing underwhelming and spectacle in short supply, but fans of Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins won't feel short-changed." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard described how "this revival presents a delicious opportunity to appreciate the lushness of Richard Rodgers's score — performed by ENO's impressive 42-piece orchestra — and the decision to cast starry singers in the leads ensures moments of operatic passion... There's a troubling lack of chemistry in this central relationship. The result is that the pair's doomed romance matters less than it should. Director Lonny Price captures the essential darkness of the book. But this isn't a satisfyingly fluent interpretation... When the characters sing, the show soars. A lot of the time, though, they're not singing." Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail said that "Lonny Price’s lean production (this is a semi-staged show, with full cast and orchestra but minimal set and restricted action) is wholly serviceable. But it's a comparatively sedate rendition of a long and cumbersome show."
Carousel in London at the Coliseum previewed from 7 April 2017, opened on 11 April 2017 and closed on 13 May 2017.