It is always an unalloyed pleasure to hear Richard Rodgers's swooning melodies and Oscar Hammerstein's heartfelt, poignant lyrics for their 1945 Broadway masterpiece Carousel again. This is probably the greatest of their astonishing run of musicals that defined Broadway between 1944 (when Oklahoma! premiered) and 1959 (The Sound of Music). It has an operatic grandeur, dramatic depth and piercing feeling... Read more
Celebrated for their innovative approach to classic musicals, rediscover Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel in the unique surroundings of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Featuring a score that includes ‘If I Loved You’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, director Timothy Sheader reunites with Superstar choreographer Drew McOnie.
Tickets are non-refundable in the event of cancellation because of the weather but may be exchanged in accordance with the Weather Policy.
Rodgers and Hammerstein's second musical theatre triumph Carousel originally premiered on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre on 1 April 1945 where it ran to 1 May 1947. The original cast starred John Raitt (Billy), Jan Clayton (Julie), Jean Darling (Carrie), Eric Mattson (Enoch Snow) and Christine Johnson (Nettie Fowler) and followed hot on the heels of their first groundbreaking musical Oklahoma!. Based on the Play “Liliom” By Ferenc Molnar as adapted by Benjamin F. Glazer, the action is relocated to a New England seaside town and follows Julie Jordan and her turbulant relationship with carousel barker Billy Bigolow.
The Original London Production opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 1 June 1950 with a cast that included Stephen Douglass, Iva Withers and Margot Moser. The show went on to achieve worldwide acclaim and success in part thanks to the film adaptation of 1956 which starred Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones.
A major London revival was mounted by director Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre in 1992 which later transferred to the Shaftesbury Theatre starring Michael Hayden, Joanna Riding, Janie Dee and Patricia Routledge. The production later transferred to the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at the Lincoln Centre in New York City starring Audra McDonald and Sally Murphy.
The musical was revived again in London at the Savoy Theatre in 2008 starring Lesley Garrett and at The Barbican in 2012 in a production by Opera North in 2012. A fringe production of Carousel ran in London at the Arcola Theatre in 2014 and was met with excellent reviews.
The score of hit songs include "If I Loved You", "Mister Snow", "June is Bustin' Out All Over", "Blow High, Blow Low", "When the Children are Asleep", "Soliloquy", "This Was a Real Nice Clambake", "You'll Never Walk Alone", "The Highest Judge of All" and "What's the Use of Wonderin?".
Set in a coastal New England town, Carousel tells the story of Julie Jordan and Billy Bigelow who fall in love one summer evening. The barker of Mrs Mullins' Carousel, Billy is known for his womanising, yet settles down with Julie despite the warnings from her aunt Nettie Fowler and best friend Carrie Pipperidge. As Julie and Billy marry their relationship becomes fraught and Billy does his best to stay out of trouble, especially when his friend Jigger offers him easy access to money. As he finds out that Julie is to have a child, he commits an armed robbery that goes wrong, resulting in him taking his own life. As Julie is left to mourn her loss on earth, Billy ascends into heaven and is given a second chance by the Starkeeper to return to earth to make amends. Fifteen years pass and Billy returns to earth to see his own daughter Louise a lonely and troubled teenager who is haunted by her father's past. Billy vows to right his wrongs, appearing to Louise only to make a crucial mistake once again. His love for Julie is ever faltering, and as Louise joins her class at graduation the message of "You'll Never Walk Alone" rings true as she and Julie manage to ride the storm that brings them comfort, whilst Billy finally passes over into the afterlife.