Wagons roll for Oklahoma! tour in 2015

GARY WILMOTBelinda Lang

A new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Oklahoma!, is set to hitch up its horses and hit the dirt trail around the UK in 2015.

Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and with new choreography by Drew McOnie, the show, being co-produced by the Royal & Derngate, will open in the Derngate auditorium, Northampton on February 19.

This new production of one of the great classic American musicals will feature a large cast and chorus led by Belinda Lang (School for Scandal, Ladies in Lavender, The Killing of Sister George) as Aunt Eller, Gary Wilmot (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Pajama Game, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Ali Hakim, Ashley Day (The Book of Mormon, The Wizard of Oz, High School Musical) as Curly, Charlotte Wakefield (The Sound of Music, MAMMA MIA!, Spring Awakening) as Laurey and Nic Greenshields (Guys and Dolls, Billy Elliot, The Phantom of the Opera) as Jud Fry.

Rachel Kavanaugh is former artistic director of the Birmingham Rep. She is directing An Ideal Husband at the Chichester Festival Theatre this autumn.

Oklahoma! was based on the Lynn Riggs play Green Grow the Lilacs. It was originally produced on Broadway in 1943 and the Oscar-winning film was released in 1955.

Set in the Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s, the musical tells the story of two sets of star-crossed lovers. Cowboy Curly loves Laurey, Aunt Eller’s niece, but Curly’s rival is the mysterious and dangerous hired hand Jud Fry.

Meanwhile, Ado Annie is torn between cowboy Will and peddler Ali Hakim.

Their stories are told with the help of some of the best loved songs in musical theatre history, including Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, I’m Just a Girl Who Cain’t Say No, Surrey With a Fringe on Top, Kansas City, People Will Say We’re in Love and the title song.

Tour dates:

February 19–28, Royal & Derngate, Northampton
March 3-7, Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton
March 17-21, The Lowry, Salford
March 24-28, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin
April 14-18, Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
April 21-25, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
April 28-May 2, Theatre Royal, Nottingham
May 5-9, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
May 12-16, The Hawth, Crawley
May 19-23, Theatre Royal, Bath
May 26-30, Hall for Cornwall, Truro
June 2-6, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
June 16-20, Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
June 23-27, Theatre Royal, Newcastle
June 30-July 4, Hippodrome, Birmingham
July 14-18, Hippodrome, Bristol
July 21-August 1, Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
August 4-8, Wycombe Swan.

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