Principal casting has been announced for the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, which will play the outdoor London venue July 31–September 25.
The cast will be headed by Carly Bawden (Romantics Anonymous) as Julie Jordan and Declan Bennett (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Billy Bigelow with John Pfumojena (Do You Love Me Yet?) as Enoch Snow, Olivier winner Joanna Riding (My Fair Lady, Carousel) as Nettie Fowler, and Natasha May Thomas as Louise Bigelow. Artistic Director Timothy Sheader directs.
The creative team also includes associate director Joanna Bowman, choreographer Drew McOnie, associate choreographer Ebony Molina, musical supervisor and orchestrator Tom Deering, associate musical director Mark Dickman, set designer and co-costume designer Tom Scutt, co-costume designer Molly Einchcomb, sound designer Nick Lidster, associate sound designer Annie May Fletcher, voice and text director Barbara Houseman, lighting designer Aideen Malone, associate lighting designer Simisola Majekodunmi, fight director Kate Waters, casting directors Lucy Casson, James Orange, and Jacob Sparrow, and children's casting director Verity Naughton.
With Carousel, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre will champion the work of Refuge, an organization committed to a world where domestic violence and violence against women and girls is not tolerated and where women and children can live in safety. They support over 6,500 women and children on any given day, aiming to empower them to rebuild their lives, free from violence and fear. Regent’s will support the organization through the theatre's marketing, on their website, and in their programs.
Sheader said in a statement, “As with our previous reimagining of classic musicals, I am excited to remove the rose-tinted specs and examine this amazing piece through a 2021 lens. With new orchestrations by Tom Deering and Drew McOnie’s distinctive choreographic language rethinking the role of dance in the storytelling, we look forward to inviting a new audience to Carousel. It’s also important to us that, because of the story and content of Carousel, we are able to support the vital work of Refuge.”
The 2021 season—which will follow COVID-19 secure procedures for as long as necessary, including an initial 50% reduction to seating capacity—also includes: Romeo and Juliet ( June 17 -July 24), directed by Kimberley Sykes; a co-production with Unicorn Theatre of Anansi the Spider (July 7–24), directed by Justin Audibert for ages 3-7; and Dragons and Mythical Beasts, directed by Derek Bond and Laura Cubitt for ages 3+ (August 13–September 5).