2002 – Oklahoma!


The third Festival Players’ production of Oklahoma won multiple awards: John Seaman declared Oklahoma! Best Show in Region 4 of the Eastern Area of NODA; Combinations’ Julie Petrucci named it her best show of the year, and Steph Waller her best actress, for her performance as Aunt Ellar.

Director Nigel Murfitt

Musical Director Brian Thomas

Choreographer Antonia Grantham

Lighting Design Paul Curtis

Sets Paul Lazell

Costume Design Margaret Thorp

Stage Manager: Leigh Stevenson

Costumes: Margaret Thorp

Lighting: Paul Curtis

Properties: Chrissy Davies

Set: Paul Lazell

Rehearsal Pianist: John Marsh


Curly – Julian Davies

Laurey – Catriona Nicol

Aunt Eller – Stephanie Waller

Will Parker – Dave Smithet

Ado Annie Carnes – Lea Chambers

Ali Hakim – Warren Clark

Jud Fry – Andy Waller

Andrew Carnes – Joe Oakes

Also starring: Angela Carr, Phillipa Clark, Margaret Curran, Liz Edwards, Vicki Gregory, Keena McKillen, Sue Morley, Fay Ostler (Dream Laurey), Jane Randall, Emma Robb, Trisha Rumsby, Christine Silberston, Pippa Taylor, Linda Thomas, Caroline Whitehead (Gertie Cummings), Ray Gambell, Matt Gregory (Slim), Alan Hay (Ike), Richard Jones, Simon Merrington, Darren Smith (Cord Elam), Rob Taylor, Roger Wood.


Combinations review

What a splendid production this was! From the moment we entered the auditorium and watched the dawn break over the plains it was an exhilarating evening. The musical not only has some great songs it also has a strong story line. Every role was well cast and there were some excellent voices. Leading from the front with good strong performances were Julian Davies as Curly and David Smithet as Will Parker. Warren Clark gave a very amusing portrayal as Ali Hakim and Andy Waller made an extremely sinister Jud Fry. The ladies were no slouches either – Lea Chambers revelled in her role as Ado Annie Carnes, and rightly so, balancing nicely Catriona Nicol’s performance as Laurey. Stephanie Waller as Aunt Ellar was a fine piece of casting. Although I am given to understand she was making her debut performance in a musical I suspect Stephanie has understudied Maureen Lipman in a former life! A very accomplished performance.

The chorus, as has become the norm with Festival Players, was excellent and Antonia Grantham’s choreography was simple, interesting and well within everyone’s limits. The settings, costumes and particularly the lighting, together with the orchestra under the leadership of Brian Thomas added so much to the whole. Nigel Murfitt’s scintillating OKLAHOMA! narrowed the gap between the amateur and the professional musical. Congratulations!

Reviewed by Julie Petrucci

Reproduced with kind permission

NODA magazine review

Over the years I have directed and seen many productions of Oklahoma! but seldom have I seen one of such a high standard throughout. Under Nigel Mufitt’s direction and Brian Thomas’s music I sat enthralled throughout the performance. The show was not just well cast, but the principals pulled out all the stops and gave everything they had in their roles. An excellent label has to be fixed to Aunt Eller (Stephanie Waller), Curly (Julian Davies), Laurey (Catriona Nicol), and Ado Annie (Lea Chambers). Warren Clark (Ali Hakim) was younger than the usual run of Ali’s and dropped his accent occasionally, but otherwise gave a first class performance. All singing principals were first class, and the strong robust chorus numbers were also well done with strong orchestra support. A fairly simple set using a multi purpose truck was very effective and good lighting and costumes added to the excellence of the show.

Review by John Seaman

Production photos

Rehearsal photos