Carousel (2000)

National tour May to September 2000 of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s

starring Darren Day and Sam Kane

Cast included:
Darren Day as Billy Bigelow
Sam Kane as Jigger Craigin
Sophie Caton as Julie Jordan
Gemma Wardle as Carrie Pipperidge
Sylvia Griffin as Nettie Fowler

Director: Matthew White
Choreographer: Wayne Sleep OBE
Musical Director: Richard Holmes

Darren Day and Sam Kane star in a new production of
Rodgers & Hammersteins Carousel
with stunning new choreography by Wayne Sleep.

Darren Day stars as Billy Bigelow and Sam Kane plays Jigger Craigin in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s timeless musical masterpiece Carousel, which began a major, nine month, number one national tour at the Grand Theatre Blackpool on the 6th March.

Darren Day is one of this country’s most popular and versatile young stars and comes to Carousel after starring in the West End productions of Copacabana (Prince of Wales Theatre), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (London Palladium, National and World Tours), Summer Holiday (London Apollo and National Tour), and Grease (Cambridge Theatre). Darren has just played Frank’N’Furter in the National tour of The New Rocky Horror Show. The role of Billy Bigelow will add a further dimension to Darren’s illustrious and growing gallery of musical leads.

Sam Kane known as Peter Phelan, the philandering hairdresser in the high rating TV soap Brookside, a character he played for three years. He is also the boys team captain on Channel 5’s popular show Night Fever, which soon returns for a new series. Sam starred with his wife, Linda Lusardi, in Snow White in Nottingham over Christmas.

Other leading roles are played by: Sophie Caton (Julie Jordan), Gemma Wardle (Carrie Pipperidge), Sylvia Griffin (Nettie Fowler), John Berlyne (Enoch Snow), David Oakley (Star Keeper/Dr Seldon), Veerle Casteleyn (Louise), Tom Dwyer (Carnival Boy), Peter Mair (Mr Bascombe).

Wayne Sleep hailed by Dame Ninette de Valois, founder of the Royal Ballet, as ‘the greatest virtuoso dancer the Royal Ballet has ever produced’, has choreographed an entire musical for the first time. In a distinguished career, which spans thirty years, Wayne Sleep is one of the few dancers to successfully bridge the gulf between all dance techniques, from classical to contemporary, including jazz and tap. As an actor-singer-dancer he has starred in eleven West End stage productions, including Andrew Lloyd- Webber’s Cats, and Song and Dance as well as the revival of Cabaret. As a director, Wayne won critical acclaim with his own company DASH, which toured the UK extensively culminating in five London seasons and a World Tour.

Director Matthew White’s extensive credits include the Royal National Theatre’s West End revival of Carousel and two subsequent productions in Japan (in Japanese!). As an actor, he has appeared in many West End productions including Les Miserables, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and Children of Eden.

With the original Broadway production of Carousel, which ran for 890 performances, Rodgers & Hammerstein solidified their position as the dominant creators of Musical Theatre in the 1940’s. The musical is based on Ferenc Molnar’s 1921 fantasy Liliom, but Rodgers & Hammerstein transported the Budapest setting to a New England fishing village, set between 1873 and 1888.

The story revolves around Billy Bigelow, a swaggering carnival barker, who meets Julie Jordan, falls in love and following their marriage, learns of his impending fatherhood. Desperate for money, he dies in an attempted robbery. However he is allowed to return to earth to do one good deed.

The many immortal and beautiful songs include Billy’s Soliloquy, You’ll Never Walk Alone, one of the most recorded songs in history, June is Bustin’ Out All Over, If I Loved You, When the Children are Asleep, What’s The Use Of Wonderin’, and the bouncy, opening orchestral number, The Carousel Waltz.

The set is designed by Jeremy Gladwin, lighting design is by David Howe, sound design by Glen Beckley, and the musical director is Richard Holmes.