Review: Carousel, Blackburn, May 7 - 12
TAKING a trip down memory lane at Thwaites Empire Theatre was evident for Blackburn Musical Theatre Company and its audience.
Celebrating 100 years of musical theatre with the 1945 musical – Carousel.
A poignant love story that left the audience reminiscing as Julie Jordan falls for carousel barker Billy Bigelow who kills himself and leaves his unborn child.
But whether you know the storyline or not – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Written and first performed at the end of the Second World War the storyline is something an East Lancashire audience knew all about - who had most probably lost their husbands and fathers in the war.
The production is a must-see for the orchestra alone, conducted by musical director Paul Nicholls.
The opening scene of Carousel was impressive, with a colourful set and great costumes the cast were completely at ease with their forties bonnets and bloomers.
The leads were well-chosen, with strong vocals from Nettie (played by Kathleen Watkins) who almost cracked the glasses in the theatre bar with a pitch-perfect ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.'
Julie Jordan (Becky Worthy) was highly convincing with her quaint presence and confident with her love-struck lines as she falls for the love of her life and goes on to have his daughter.
But for me - the star of the show had to be bad-boy Billy Bigelow (Nick Gunn) who plays a cheeky chappy.
He carried off a great performance whilst capturing the eye of most ladies in the audience.
The show’s climax shows Billy Bigelow's ghost, who is allowed briefly back to earth to witness the graduation of the daughter Louise (Aimee Gallagher) who he never knew.
It was clear to see that Blackburn Musical Theatre Company has plenty of talent behind the scenes - who's names haven't been mentioned.
But without them the show couldn't go on.