13-23 May 2015
Reviewed by Catherine Fletcher
Last night I visited the Leeds Grand Theatre to see Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel. This was the first time I have been to this theatre. It was really easy to find and because of its central location is easy to travel to via local bus routes, it’s also is in reasonable walking distance from the train and bus stations.
On arrival we collected our tickets and made our way to our seats. The theatre was buzzing with excitement. We got ourselves comfy and then bang on 7pm the curtains were raised. The opening scene is the character Billy who is a young boy sitting against a tree waiting for his father (Kirill Burlov) to return. Upon his return he gives his son a gift which is an ornamental carousel horse…
The show fast forwards to a stage which has been transformed into a huge carousel, Billy is now a young handsome teenager (Newlyn Evans) working as a Barker on the Carousel.
We are then introduced to best friends Julie Jordan (Gillene Butterfield) and Carrie Pepperidge (Aoife O’Sullivan), and we’re treated to a giggly giddy song called “Mister Snow” which was lovely.
The next few scenes consist of Billy and Julie falling for each other – their love for each other is emphasised during the duet of “If I loved you”, this performance was totally flawless as was the dance routine that accompanied it.
The next few songs and dance routines “Mister Snow”, “June is Busting out all over”, When the children are asleep” show Carrie marry Mr Snow (Joseph Shovelton) and go on to have a large family, the songs were all catchy and performed brilliantly.
The 2nd half of the show opens with Julie and Billy with their friends at the Clam Bait. Unfortunately Billy gets in with the wrong crowd and gets involved in a robbery. There is a scene which shows Billy lying on the floor with a knife, he is clearly injured and crying out for Julie, she finds him just in time for them to declare their love but he sadly dies in her arms, this was quite an emotional scene with a performance of “You’ll never walk alone” sang very powerfully by Yvonne Howard.
The show fast forwards again to a much older Julie and a teenage girl, this turns out to be her daughter that she gave birth to after Billy had died, it shows her graduating. She gets a surprise visitor on her special day to re-assure her about life, this is a very powerful scene with the whole cast coming onto the stage to performance an outstanding version of “You’ll never walk alone” which was breath-taking.
This show was totally amazing, the dancing, singing, acting and atmosphere emphasised each scene brilliantly. It’s a very emotional and breath-taking show which finished with a standing ovation.
Tickets cost from £15 to £47 (plus £1.50 online/telephone transaction fee).
Carousel is at the Leeds Grand Theatre until 23 May 2015. For more information or to book tickets visit www.leedsgrandtheatre.com or call the box office on 0844 848 2700.
Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House, 46 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NZ | 0844 848 2700