On Theatre

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The original clocked up 890 performances on Broadway, but after only four months at the Lyttelton and six months at the Shaftesbury, the National Theatre revival of Carousel is closing. Why?

Were punters put off by the schmaltzy movie - screenplay by the parents of Nora (Sleepless in Seattle) Ephron? Perhaps they thought they were in for too highbrow an evening when they learned the choreographer was Kenneth MacMillan? Did they fight shy of the plot? Which ever way you slice it, it's about wife-beating.

Whatever the reasons, following its South Bank sell-out the West End box-office returns were not sufficient to persuade its producer, Cameron Mackintosh, to extend the run any further.

Years ago, critics shook their heads and tutted when Richard Eyre announced his landmark production of Guys and Dolls. Groaning platters of humble pie were eaten after opening night, and the box office went wild. Last month, the critic Michael Billington questioned the policy of producing not one, but two American musicals in six months, the other being Sweeney Todd. (Can anyone name a European musical as good as Sweeney Todd? Can anyone name a European musical?)

Carousel won four Olivier Awards, and for ages was the hottest ticket in town. For anyone mad enough to have missed it, this is your last chance. Spoil yourself.

(Photograph omitted)