Oklahoma! is OK for Ballywillan Drama group

AFTER months of hard work Ballywillan Drama Group finally hits the stage this week with their long awaited revival of the smash hit musical Oklahoma!, which plays from Wednesday until February 6.

Oklahoma! tells the story of some of the original settlers of Oklahoma… a story filled with love comedy and violence as statehood looms nigh. Audiences will be transported back to a time when the cowboy and the farmer both were king and had to work out a way to live with each other.

Last staged by them in 2000 in their then home of Waterworld, Portrush, some of that original award-winning cast are reprising their roles. David McClarty and Olive Hemphill will once again play their original parts of Ali Hakim and Aunt Eller, and are joined by Alan McClarty who, having played Curly ten years ago, now takes on the role of Jud Fry. Mark Adamson plays the part of Curly and Fiona Warke takes the role of Laurey.

Ashling Reynolds and Colin McClarty are cast together again this year, playing opposite each other as the comical Ado Annie and the not-so-bright Will Parker.

The music from Oklahoma! is well known and classics such as “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” ;“Kansas City” and “The Farmer and the Cowman” will delight audiences throughout the run of the show, and leave them with great memories for years to come.

The production team, headed by Director and Producer, Brian Logan, Musical Director, Eric Boyd and Choreographer, Sharon Wilson, are guiding the vast cast through the final stage of the show and ensuring that this is the Oklahoma to see this year!

Running for nearly three weeks it is the biggest show in the Riverside Theatre and, indeed, is the longest running amateur musical anywhere in Ireland with eighteen performance dates.

Ballywillan took three nominations for their last musical, Fiddler on the Roof, in the Association of Irish Musical Societies Awards – Best Director, Best Lighting, Sets and Sound and Best Chorus- and are keen to show their wares to the public once more.

Nominated for Best Set for four years in succession, Brian Logan has once again created a sweeping design, which extends the width of the Riverside stage and includes recreations of the actual period log cabins and buildings.

OKLAHOMA! will be staged in the Riverside Theatre from Wednesday, January 20 to Saturday, February 6 for eighteen toe-tapping performances. Book your seat for an evening of song, dance, ballet, drama, comedy and much, much more! Saturday matinees are at 2.30pm with evening performances at 8pm. Concessions apply. Box Office 028 7032 3232 or book on-line at www.riversidetheatre.org.uk Seat prices 14 to 17.

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