Roger and Hammerstein’s popular show tells the story of Billy Bigelow, a fairground barker and his struggle and failure to take the right path in life and the consequences for the people around him. He is given the chance after death to make amends and to put his daughter on the right path with the help of a ‘heavenly friend’ and a ‘starkeeper’.
Chris Hind played the wayward and at times, violent Billy and, making her debut with WLOS, Angela Allen played Julie, the girl who sticks with Billy, even though he ill-treats her. These two sang with passion and dramatic skill.
Sarah Hemsall and Aidan Banyard were Carrie and Enoch Snow, the couple who have firm and ambitious plans for the future and who make a success of their lives. Sarah is not only an accomplished actress, but can sing too! She brought a lovely touch of humour to this role and Aiden, seems to have developed an amazingly impressive singing voice since I last saw him.
Steve Rowan played the part of Jigger Craigin, a villain and a very bad influence on Billy and ultimately the cause of his demise. He managed to portray different shades to the character of Jigger with great sensitivity.
Peter Burton and Margaret Denham were Starkeeper and Heavenly Friend. Again, using their skill and maturity to match the roles they were very appropriately cast.
Kristi Chambers played Billy’s daughter in a role mainly given over to dance and Mathew Scott appeared as her partner and the two made an impressive dance pair.
From start to finish this was a musical polished until it sparkled. Directed by Andrea Colton and with Paul O’Leary as Musical Director and Kristi Chambers as Choreographer this was an iconic Carousel.
It was the attention to detail that made this such an outstanding production.
The choral singing, the society dancers, the use of stage and auditorium, the backdrops, screens and lighting, the quality of the solo singers and the number of enthusiastic younger society members made this something very special.
The audience rightly gave a standing ovation for what can only be said to be a masterful performance.
I think you can tell that I was bowled over by this one and yes, I’ll be talking about it for some time to come.
By Wendy Fidoe