14 May, 2009


...as Carnival Boy.

Adam Cooper Comes to Rescue of Carousel
Date: 14 May 2009

The audience at last night's performance of Carousel at the Savoy Theatre got a special treat when renowned dancer Adam Cooper (choreographer of the show) stepped in at the very last minute to perform in place of the injured Tom Dwyer, who plays the Carnival Boy. Dwyer's usual understudy, Leon Webster, was also off injured, and the second understudy James O'Connell was too ill to perform.

Cooper, who is currently choreographing a production of the opera Roberto Devereux at Holland Park, only agreed at the last minute to go on, with producers facing the prospect of having to cancel the show if he couldn't do it. After 30 minutes of frantic rehearsal, he went on to perform the famed 15-minute pas de deux segment with dancer Lindsey Wise, and a bouquet from co-star Leslie Garrett at the curtain call.

But Cooper, famed for his performance in Matthew Bourne's seminal 1994 all-male version of Swan Lake and appearance in 1999 film Billy Elliot – is unlikely to be called on again. Leon Webster has today been given the “all clear” by doctors and will resume in the role this evening.

All I can say is this: sitting in the wings with the entire company, stage management team, crew and theatre staff, we experienced a communion of sorts. There, bonded together in the presence of such astonishing greatness, we simultaneously glinted for a moment, and bathed in a feeling of unity that I have only ever experienced in the theatre. Tonight was what being in the theatre is all about. It was beautiful and a shattering honour.

What a day.


  1. AnonymousMay 18, 2009


  2. I have seen Adam dance and have met him once.He is the nicest and down to earth guy that you could ever meet.Good on you mate

  3. I am sure it was a great evening, what a hero!

  4. Adam's a cool guy,so friendly! I met him last year in Edinburgh when Jay introduced me to him...



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