Oklahoma!

Date 26th September 2018
Society Glenrothes Amateur Musical Association
Venue Rothes Halls, Glenrothes
Type of Production Musical
Director Gerry Duffy
Musical Director Gillian Haycock
Choreographer Lorna Lewis

Report

Author: Mike Pendlowski

Can you go wrong with Oklahoma! – well, sometimes yes – but not tonight! And, for once I don’t find the need to summarise the plot to readers!

GAMA’s large cast made full use of the spacious acting area in The Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, especially with the dance routines in the very capable hands of Lorna Lewis. It was such a pleasure to see different choreography for this so-well-known show – “Kansas City” and the “Dream Ballet” being two cases in point.

A very strong cast of principals added to an equally strong chorus, to ensure a fast moving, enjoyable evening.  In his first opportunity in a lead role, Colin Sutherland as Curly was possibly a little tentative at first, but, very quickly got into his role and the early tentativeness was very quickly forgotten. He teamed so well with a lovely portrayal of Laurey by Helen Knowles-Venters. Their duet “People Will Say We’re in Love”  was a delight to listen to and well worth the reprise in Act Two.  On a personal note, I have to say I prefer seeing Laurey played as a girlie character rather than the tom-boy Laurey brought to the stage by the National Theatre – but, that said, Helen’s performance tonight soon made me forget that issue! Will Parker (Andrew Doig) - well what more can I say! I think over the last few years I have used every superlative in my thesaurus, when talking about Andrews stagecraft and acting ability – and tonight was no exception. Andrew provided us with an extremely likeable and energetic Will Parker, teaming up well with Lauren Smith as Ado Annie. Their “All or Nuthin’” duet oozing confidence and comedy.

Turning to the dark character of Jud Fry.  Craig Spence made sure of the contrast between Jud and all the other “likeable” characters in the show. This doesn’t mean I didn’t like his portrayal of Jud – far from it – first class in my view. Ali Hakim (Matthew Bain) albeit relatively young for this part, made sure that every ounce of comedy was brought out, especially combined with “the laugh” from Gertie Cummings, provided many hilarious moments throughout the show.

Finally, Aunt Eller (Diane White), the matriarch of the show, a character who must be trusting, motherly and forceful, individually and all at the same time! Diane carried off the role with consummate ease, and added her own character into numbers such as “Surrey” and “The Farmer and the Cowman”.

Direction by Gerry Duffy and Musical Direction by Gillian Haycock was up to the high standard for which GAMA is noted.

Thank you so much GAMA for inviting me along to your show!  Well done!