What would you do if, 15 years after your death, you were granted one more day on earth?
In the story of Carousel, Billy Bigelow goes straight to see his wife and daughter they he never had the chance to meet but discovers they are both hugely unhappy.
In Rogers & Hammerstein’s musical, presented by the Abbots Langley Gilbert and Sullivan Society, the plot begins with the carousel barker charming millworker Julie, but soon after they wed they both lose their jobs just as she becomes pregnant.
In a desperate attempt to provide for his growing family Billy is coerced into being an accomplice to a failed robbery that leaves him facing certain jail time. These unfortunate turns of fate are too much for him to cope, he take his own life.
His spirit rises up but is refused entrance to the heavenly kingdom for the wrongs he has committed. He is sent back down to earth to redeem himself but warned that 15 years have passed.
When he returns his discovers that, due to his reputation as a bully and a thief living on, his daughter is a lonely, friendless teenager. With the absence of her father, his misdeeds have haunted her throughout her young life.
How Billy instils in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love.
Watford Palace Theatre, 20 Clarendon Road, Watford, WD17 1JZ, until Saturday, February 4. Details: 01923 225671