Date 20th May 2022
Society Richmond Operatic Society
Venue Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond
Type of Production Musical
Director Suanne Harding
Musical Director Adrian Bramley
Choreographers Victoria Bennett, Caitlin Smith
Assistant Choreographer Natasha Aspden
Written By Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II


Author: Dan Matuszak

A very warm welcome awaited myself and my fiancée at the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond by director Suanne Harding and the fabulous cast of Richmond Operatic Society in their production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Carousel’. I was delighted to be asked by a fellow representative to cover for him to review this production. Firstly, I have to say, what an absolutely gorgeous Theatre the Georgian is. So intimate and beautifully decorated throughout. The fairy lights hung around the auditorium made us, the audience feel included in the action that was happening on stage during the Star Keeper scene.

‘Carousel’ is a show I have seen numerous times and performed in myself. Each time, done a different way and this production was no exception.

It is impossible to mention everyone in these reports. However, I would like to mention a few stand out performances:

The show opened in thick of the action at a fairground where we met the infamous Billy Bigelow, the barker of the Carousel who was played by Connor Speight. A cocky and very sure of himself character that Connor portrayed with flair and imagination.

Amy Fudali gave an outstanding performance as Nettie Fowler in my opinion. She commanded the stage with her presence and gave a rousing rendition of ‘June is Bustin’ and a truly gorgeous ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Both of which were accompanied by the ensemble which only added to the beauty.

Victoria Bennett gave a lovely, heart-warming portrayal of the ever sweet Julie Jordan. Her voice was beautiful and her grace on stage was impeccable.

Hugo Grieve as the sinister and eerily creepy Jigger Craigin gave a powerful yet funny portrayal of this bad lad. Both Hugo and Connor were a great double act.

Lastly, I have to mention the duo of Brodey Laundon as the bright eyed and wet behind the ears character of Enoch Snow and Natasha Aspden as the young and fiesty Carrie Pipperidge. Both absolutely fantastic in their respective roles. Never once losing their charm and energy on the stage and their rendition of ‘When the children are asleep’ was beautiful to listen to.

The whole company shone out in their own way with everyone really bringing out the emotions of their characters.

The cast were accompanied by an eight piece band under the direction of Musical Director, Mr Adrian Bramley. Never once did they over power the singing or dialogue on stage.

Choreographed by the trio of Victoria Bennett, Caitlin Smith and Natasha Aspden, the dances were slick and well within the capabilities of the cast. I especially liked the ballet sequence which was nicely danced by Georgie O’Reilly in the character of Louise Bigelow.

A huge well done to director Suanne Harding, the creative team and to all the cast on a great performance of such a big show which you performed in a very tight space. The set was very simple yet lent itself perfectly to the action.

Thank you for a lovely evening and I hope to be asked back again in the future.