As previously reported (See News, 13 May 2008), the upcoming revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, starring Lesley Garrett, will transfer to the West End at the conclusion of its autumn tour. It’s now confirmed for the Savoy Theatre, where it will open on 2 December 2008 (previews from 22 November) and is initially booking until 25 July 2009.

Carousel is a romantic fantasy from both Heaven and Earth, tracking the tragic New England love story of fast-talking carousel barker Billy Bigelow and naïve mill worker Julie Jordan.

Lesley Garrett – the opera soprano who made her musical theatre debut in 2006 playing the Mother Abbess in another Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, The Sound of Music - plays Julie’s cousin Nettie Fowler, who sings the anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. She’s joined in the cast by Jeremiah James (as Billy), from Theatreland pop group Teatro, and Alexandra Silber (Julie Jordan), recently seen at the Savoy in Fiddler on the Roof.

Premiered on Broadway in 1945, Carousel was made into a Hollywood film, starring Shirley Jones and Gordon McRae, in 1956. It\'s last major London outing was at the National Theatre in 1992 in an award-winning production directed by Nicholas Hytner which subsequently transferred to Broadway. The score also includes \"Mister Snow\", \"Soliloquy\" and \"What\'s the Use of Wond\'rin\".

The new revival reunites director Lindsay Posner and producer Kim Poster of Stanhope Productions Ltd, who brought Fiddler on the Roof for an extended season at the Savoy last May after its initial Christmas run at the Sheffield Crucible. It’s choreographed by former Royal Ballet principal Adam Cooper and designed by William Dudley, with costumes by Deirdre Clancey, lighting by Peter Mumford, orchestrations by Larry Blank and musical direction by David Firman.

The team of producers also comprises Michael Edward and Carole Winter, Tiger/WSZ, Stevens-O’Boyle, Tulchin/Bartner/Ambassador Theatre Group in association with the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Carousel launches at Bromley on 26 September 2008 and then tours to Edinburgh, Milton Keynes and Wimbledon before transferring to the Savoy.

Currently at the Savoy, as announced yesterday (See News, 8 Jul 2008), Take That musical Never Forget will finish on 15 November before moving to another, still-to-be-announced West End theatre.

- by Terri Paddock