The new revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, starring opera soprano Lesley Garrett (pictured), danced into the Savoy theatre last night (2 December 2008, previews from 22 November) following an extensive UK tour (See News, 13 May 2008).

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.

Garrett plays plays Julie’s cousin Nettie Fowler, who sings the anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (which she’ll be performing at this Friday’s Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards Launch Party). 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.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF CAROUSEL 's 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

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 (who was in attendance last night) 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.

Carousel is currently booking at the Savoy until 25 July 2009.

- By Theo Bosanquet