Carousel, St Annes Operatic Society, Lowther Pavilion Until Saturday
St Annes Operatic Society deserve every congratulation on this polished performance of a musical in which American domestic harmony and a lurking violence combine to dramatic effect.
Director Joe Appleton and his team bring the very best out of Michael Cosgrove who sings powerfully and tenderly as Billy Bigelow, the troubled carousel worker.
His rendition of ‘My Boy Bill’ is outstanding.
Stephanie Darkins, as Julie, finds a convincing portrayal of a young woman often unsure of herself and, in a neat contrast, Danielle Wrench – comical, sassy, affectionate and spot on with her timing – makes an engaging Carrie.
Her wailing is something else!
James Quine and Neil James excel at putting a song across to the receptive audience, while Joanne James captures just the right tone and pace for the all too familiar ‘You’ll never walk alone’.
The suicide of Billy Bigelow radically changes the mood of the show and Grace Robson’s expressive and sustained dance as Louise is first-class.
The quality of the chorus, Peter Weston’s 13-piece band, effective lighting and sound and superb costumes all contribute notably in a performance which is a template for this deservedly popular classic musical.