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Saturday, 28 July 2018

Review: Carousel at St Davids Hall

           *Thank you St David's Hall for the tickets all opinions are my own and 100% honest *

The Unknown Theatre Company was formed in February 1997 as a non-profit making association. It was founded by a group of four parents who decided that there weren't enough opportunities for young people to perform in the area.

Last night I attended The Unknown Theatre Company production of 'Carousel'
I have often visited St David's Hall but last night was pleasantly surprised to attend this performance within Lefel 1 Studio . The Studio is spacious yet intimate , with good tiered seating and its own contained bar. The seating is unreserved so you can choose where to sit ,the stage was set with musicians in place , a sparsely decorated stage to the forefront .
The story revolves around carousel barker Billy Bigelow, whose romance with mill worker Julie Jordan comes at the price of both their jobs. He participates in a robbery to provide for Julie and their unborn child; after it goes tragically wrong, he is given a chance to make things right.

Richard Rodgers considered Carousel his favourite of all his musicals and wrote ''It affects me deeply every time I see it performed''

I haven't seen Carousel on stage before so this was a new experience for me , one I enjoyed researching and experiencing.I loved that the plot, albeit an abridged version, stayed true to the stage version although I was relieved that this exchange between Julie and her daughter, Louise was omitted:
Louise:“Is it possible, Mother, for someone to hit you—hard like that—real loud and hard—and not hurt you at all?”
Julie:: “It is possible, dear—for someone to hit you—hit you hard—and not hurt at all.”
I had forgotten how dark the actual romance was -Billy's death was another revelation...

All of the cast melded well into their characterisations . The ensemble as a whole , especially in the musical numbers, were fantastic but my favourite has to be Carly Griffin as Nettie Fowler - that girl has a powerful voice especially in 'You'll Never Walk Alone''!
I found Nathan Coles interpretation of Enoch Snow especially amusing along with Zoe Martin as Carrie Pipperidge they made a marvellous team! I loved 'When The Children Are Asleep' ( my Moms favourite btw).

I have to say that the contemporary costumes confused me at times especially the schoolgirl outfits, the feminist t-shirt and the strangely blonde wig worn by one of the actors (distracting at times) also there were times when  the singing was shaky and a little off-key but then that's just my opinion.

Now the kicker.....I cried. Yep, I did and I sit here now, tears welling in my eyes ...

Thank you The Unknown Theatre Company and Thank You Rodgers and Hammerstein

Carousel finishes tonight.....Book Here


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