Oklahoma

Date 10th April 2013
Society Opera Worcester
Venue Swan Theatre, Worcester
Type of Production Musical
Director Chris Love
Musical Director Sue Black
Choreographer Chris Love

Report

Author: trevor guest

Formed in 1952 GWOS successfully performed only Gilbert & Sullivan operettas for their first 31 productions before adding a few other light operettas such as The Merry Widow to their repertoire. The decision to perform Oklahoma was a momentous one taken with trepidation by the G&S die-hards but was thoroughly vindicated by this performance. I do think that Oklahoma is one of the freshest and least dated works in the musical comedy repertoire. The opening “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin”, was so well sung by Kit Windows –Yule, ‘Curly’, who was very well cast. His clear baritone and easy unself conscious manner lending charm to a character who sometimes seems too good and clean cut to be true. Lynsey Squair was an enchanting ‘Laurey’ with a lovely voice and a most appealing manner. Michael Staiger, ‘Jud’ steered well clear of caricature in his black-hearted role as Curly’s rival for Laurey and excellently conveyed his low key initial unattractiveness into a frustrated and murderous villain. As ‘Ado Annie’ (who cain’t say no) Kathryn Cope gave a more aggressive interpretation of the role than is usual but she was a delight and her suitor ‘Will Parker’, Lewis Adey, gave a mature, rounded and humorous performance in his first time on stage, good dancer too! ‘Ali Hakim’, Dan Robinson, another first timer was a perfect Persian peddler and extracted all the humour in the role. Sue Wild is a sturdy and at times a fearsome  ‘Aunt Ella’, and brought all her experience to the part. The smaller roles were all well played and the chorus movement and dancing, particularly the exuberant ensemble numbers were terrific. Scenery was minimal but very effective, as was lighting but if I can be allowed one quibble I thought that over amplification at times distorted the vocals. Congratulations to Director Chris Love and MD Sue Black for a truly superb production.