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Roll up for Bishop’s Stortford Musical Theatre Company’s production of Carousel

By Herts & Essex Observer  |  Posted: October 30, 2013

  • Bishop's Stortford Musical Theatre Company members during the Les Miserables workshop at Rhodes. Photo: Amelia Bullett

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BISHOP’S Stortford Musical Theatre Company will present the powerful and touching musical Carousel as this year’s autumn production at Rhodes.

Set in a tight-knit fishing community on the New England coastline, Carousel revolves around the ill-fated love affair between charismatic Billy Bigelow, a travelling carnival man, and trusting Julie Jordan, a worker at the local mill.

Having married against everyone’s advice, their relationship is a rocky one and it is only after learning that he is soon to become a father that Billy vows to change his ways.

But he falls in with the wrong crowd and dies in the aftermath of a robbery gone horribly wrong.

Sent to purgatory for 15 years after his death, Billy is given one day to redeem his soul before he is permitted to enter Heaven. Billy reaches out to his daughter, now a troubled teenager, but is it too little too late, or will it be enough to change both their lives forever?

“It starts really upbeat with big chorus numbers but when Billy dies it becomes a little bit depressing while still being uplifting at the same time,” said former St Mary’s Catholic School pupil Alex Outlaw who will play the role of Julie.

“That’s what I love about it; it is such a massive contrast in one show and it deals with so many levels and issues. It’s such an emotional production which is why it is one of my favourites.”

Alex, 30, has been a member of BSMTC since she came back from studying drama at university in 2004.

“I wanted to get into musical theatre because that was the love I had found,” she said.

Since then Alex has appeared in nine performing productions as well as numerous spring shows in between. Her favourite role was as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

“After playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at university this is the other role I really wanted to play and I was lucky enough to be chosen,” said Alex, who is also chairman of BSMTC.

“It’s quite a big part and there is a lot of dialogue so it was a huge challenge as well as being something enjoyed a lot. It’s the one show I could do every night without getting bored.”

BSMTC members have been preparing for the production since June as well as juggling other commitments.

Chairman Alex, who works full time and does teaching on the side says she would not have been able to cope were it not for her “brilliant committee”.

Carousel runs from November 11 to November 16. Tickets are available from www.rhodesbishopsstortford.org.uk or by calling (01279) 651746.

BSMTC will then turn its attention to its spring show which takes place at Little Hadham Village Hall on May 16 and 17 next year and is based on the theme of old time music hall. Their next autumn production will be Jesus Christ Superstar in 2014.

•MEMBERS of BSMTC were given help and advice for their latest production by a resident director from the hit musical Les Miserables.

Andy Reiss, who has worked on both the West End and touring show of the production, held a workshop for members of the drama group Rhodes.

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