1991 Carousel

BWT Review

Carousel still casts its spell

Witham Amateur Operatic Society

LIKE the rest of the audience I was spellbound by this few-expenses spared show, by the music, the colour and, let’s face it, the sentimental story line. ‘Carousel’ got to me at Drury Lane in 1950. Goodness knows how many clambakes later it still works its magic. This representation had the sure hand of Derek Collins as producer. His noted attention to both detail and overall effect was there, backed by efficient stage and lighting teams. Acting standards were high, with firm characterisations.

Choreographer Lavinia Farmer gave her dancers much innovative and difficult work to do. They did it with style, including the children. There was plenty of movement, always something satisfying to look at, and the tableaux were beautifully designed, costume and scenery carefully managed.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s unforgettable songs chase one another - enough to sustain six modern shows. Musical Director Brian Brown had rehearsed his singers to give of their excellent best. Choruses were confident and lively and the Chelmsford Sinfonietta most professional.

The principal roles were convincing and generally well sung. Stewart Adkins was a personable Bigelow with a good voice, Alison Brewer and older than usual Julie, but a pleasure to see and hear. Roberta Tyler's Carrie was properly light and tuneful but Wayne Savill was not always happy singing as her Mr Snow.

Derrick Brisley