Classic Carousel a piece of cake for talented Lyttons as they gear up for opening night

Lytton Players Carousel, celebration cake. left to right Ross Edwards (Enoch Snow), Sharon Curtis (

Lytton Players Carousel, celebration cake. left to right Ross Edwards (Enoch Snow), Sharon Curtis (Julie Jordan), Luke Crouch (Billy Bigelow) and Allie Neal (Nettie Fowler) and the cake. - Credit: Archant

If I’d Known You Were Coming I’d Have Baked A Cake is a jaunty standard that dates back more than 60 years – but the production being staged this week by Stevenage’s Lytton Players is even older.

Lytton Players Carousel - celebration cake. Left to right, musical director Derek Byth, director Max

Lytton Players Carousel - celebration cake. Left to right, musical director Derek Byth, director Maxine Holmes and choreographer Wendy Wartnaby. - Credit: Archant

Carousel, hailed as the finest Broadway musical ever by some, was first staged 70 years ago.

And as the company rehearsed in advance of opening night at their Vardon Road base, musical director Derek Blyth decided that he couldn’t let the anniversary pass without a suitable celebration.

So members of the company were able to tuck in to a special birthday surprise almost 70 years to the day after the show’s original Broadway opening night back in 1945.

Carousel, picked out by composer Richard Rodgers as his own favourite work, revolves around fairground barker Billy Bigelow, who turns to crime to provide for Julie Jordan and their unborn child.

Everything goes wrong, but then he gets the chance to make things right – and along the way evergreen songs like If I Loved You, June Is Bustin’ Out All Over and You’ll Never Walk Alone lift the heart and the spirits. The show opens on Thursday night and runs until Saturday, May 16 with 7.30pm performances each evening and a Saturday matinee.

Call the box office on 01438 357407 to check availability or visit www.gordon-craig.co.uk.

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