Hot on the heels of their first major collaboration Oklahoma!, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II returned to Broadway with a new offering – a musical adaptation of Ference Molnár’s play Liliom. They called it Carousel. With a score comprising of some of musical theatre’s greatest hits, including Mr. Snow, If I Loved You and the haunting You’ll Never Walk Alone, Carousel is considered one of the greats, and returns to London in a brand new, semi-staged production directed by Lonny Price (Sweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard). With the ENO orchestra accompanying, recording artists Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins lead this production for a limited engagement at London’s Coliseum.
Set in a coastal village in Maine, the carousel barker Billy Bigelow is known for his carefree attitude and confident swagger. But upon meeting Julie Jordan, a local millworker who is as naïve as she is charming, Billy’s world is changed forever. Billy marries Julie in a whirlwind romance, only to discover fairly early into their marriage that she is pregnant. This piece of news arrives just as Billy learns that he is to be made redundant. As his attitudes change and the weight of responsibility for his family falls upon his shoulders, Billy will go to great lengths to provide for his family. Even break the law.
Taking his own life rather than risk prison, Billy leaves Julie to raise their daughter alone. She will live in the wake of her father’s reputation – a lonely child, friendless, known as the daughter of a thief and a bully. But Billy’s spirit is granted one day to return to earth by the powers ‘up there’ and given the chance to help his daughter find hope, dignity and a sense of belonging. It’s a testimony to the lengths a father will go to for his children and the power of love.
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(3mins) Take Cranbourn Street until St Martin’s Lane, where you head right until you reach the theatre.