“The feelin’ is gettin’ so intense”
Nick Hytner’s production of Carousel began life at the National Theatre at 1992 and was such a success that it transferred into the West End the next year, albeit without its entire original cast. So this recording does not feature the likes of Patricia Routledge and Janie Dee which is sad, but it did retain the incomparable Joanna Riding who delivers the kind of performance as Julie Jordan that should rightfully be lauded for aeons.
Frankly, it pisses all over Katherine Jenkins’ efforts (Michael Hayden’s Billy isn’t particularly fantastic but I’d still take him over Alfie Boe), speaking as it does to the darker side of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, which Hytner was one of the first to really emphasise. Riding is superb from start to finish and in a treasure trove of riches, it is the rendition of ‘What’s the use of Wond’rin” that really blows you away.
In the supporting cast, Katrina Murphy’s Carrie Pipperige is particularly good, especially her version of “Mister Snow” partnered by the ever-excellent Clive Rowe and the chorus work sounds like a dream. Martin Yates’ musical direction captures much of special feel of the orchestrations and in the final analysis, you’d be hard-pressed to find much fault here at all.