Carousel ★★★★ Regent's Park Open Air Theatre | Jul 31 - Sep 25, 2021


Carousel is one of the very greatest pieces of musical theatre. Every song is in a minor key and is subtly instilled with a sense of yearning and of the tragedy to come. The whole show stands or falls on the casting of Julie and Billy, and here we are lucky to have the totally believable Carly Bawden and Declan Bennett acting and singing superbly. Bennett's seven minute "Soliloquy" is pitched perfectly as the young wildcat is tamed by the realisation that he is to become a father – something he is ill-prepared for. Bawden brings a sense of foreboding before truly tugging at the heartstrings as she loses her husband. Joanna Riding, herself an award-winning Julie, is tremendous as cousin Nettie – feisty and fun before stunning us with a moving rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone." The huge company was beautifully disposed over Tom Scutt's steeply raked set, creating many wonderfully striking pictures. Drew McOnie's witty choreography uses the constantly spinning revolve extremely well. There are so many things which director Timothy Sheader gets right that it almost feels ungrateful to say that we really didn't like the revised final section of the show. We felt that revisiting an interpretation of the 'heavenly' scenes which had been rejected before the Broadway opening was unhelpful and confusing; Rodgers and Hammerstein were masters of their art and could have been trusted with their final version. However, whilst the superb cast held hands and the stage revolved there were tears in many eyes.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Johan-Persson.

Want to save on tickets? See our Tips page.

When, Where, Getting there:

Most Popular

Barb Jungr, Forgetful Heart: Dylan and Cohen and Love ★★★★ Brasserie Zédel | January 20 - 22, 2022

Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story ★★★★ Jermyn Street Theatre | Jan 13 - Feb 5, 2022

Freud's Last Session ★★★★ King's Head Theatre | Jan 18 - Feb 12, 2022

When Jazz Meets Flamenco ★★★ Sadler's Wells | November 26 & 27, 2021

Force Majeure ★★★★★ Donmar Warehouse | Dec 10, 2021 - Feb 5, 2022

The 4th Country ★★★ Park Theatre | Jan 12 - Feb 5, 2022

The Shark Is Broken ★★★★ Ambassadors Theatre | Oct 9, 2021 - Feb 13, 2022

David Suchet: Poirot And More, A Retrospective ★★★★ Harold Pinter Theatre | January 4 - 22, 2022

Cinderella ★★★★★ Various cinemas and online | From December 4, 2021

Life of Pi ★★★★★ Wyndham’s Theatre | Nov 15, 2021 - May 29, 2022

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings