Billy Bigelow, A handsome but rough Carousel barker, marries the mill girl Julie Jordan but the couple have to move in with their cousin Nettie when Billy is unable to find work. Carrie Pipperide, Julie’s best friend, is engaged to kind fisherman Enoch Show. Things are not going so well for Jullie Billy has become violent to his wife, but Julie still loves him.
After Billy finds out that Julie is pregnant, desperate for money, Billy is persuaded by his friend, Jigger Craigin, to rob and assault the mill owner, David Bascome. When the plan fails Billy takes his own life rather than spend the rest of his life in prison.
Fifteen years later, Billy is allowed one visit to Earth. He tries to show his love to Julie and his daughter, Louise, but is not able to. Although Julie senses his love and Billy is able to witness Louise graduating from high school.
HORSHAM Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’s (HAODS) most recent theatrical venture is a fairground success despite a fairly bizarre plot.
Based on Ferenc Molna’s Liliom, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel tells the story of love and loss in a New England whaling community. Julie Jordan falls in love with carousel man Billy Bigelow, they marry and Julie becomes pregnant. Billy attempts to steal some money for their unborn child – but things go horribly wrong.
Set in the 19th century, the costumes provided by HAODS were well designed and evoked the era wonderfully. Well thought out and creatively designed the set design complemented the story.
The ‘heaven’ scene was everything you imagine the place to be, lots of stars, diffused light and to top it off, a twinkly ladder. The play itself is fairly surreal with carnival characters, a starkeeper and a 15-year jump in the storyline. But that’s due to the way it was written and not the way it was performed. The cast did themselves justice and the ensemble pieces were powerful and skilfully sung.
There was some exceptional talent on the stage, notably Gemma Cushing, who played Carrie Pipperidge and Roz Hall, who played Billy Bigelow’s 15-year-old daughter, Louise. HAODS can comfortably celebrate its 50th anniversary with the knowledge that all performances are a sell-out – ensuring another deserved hit for the company.