Oklahoma! – Review

Oklahoma! The Mellow Dramatics, Brewhouse arts centre, Burton

There are some excellent individual performances on display in the Mellow Dramatics production of Oklahoma! at the Brewhouse this week.
Chief among these is Andrew Warner as Curly McLain who sings his heart out from before he actually steps on stage. Making his entrance from a side aisle we hear Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ before we even glimpse the leading man.
He is ably abetted by Helen Donnelly’s Aunt Eller, along with Rachel Wallis as his love interest Laurey Williams. The other couple whose on/off love affair is charted during Oklahoma! – Ado Annie and Will Parker played by Hannah Parker and Rhys Jones – provide many of the comic moments that lighten the events in the show. They are ‘assisted’ in their endeavours to find true love by Ali Hakim, slickly played by Calum Launchbury.

For me however, the person that caught the attention was Joe Bromfield – I don’t think I have seen a more sociopathic Jud Fry than the performance he delivered.
The dance numbers were lively and the 15 minute dream ballet sequence caught the eye.

There were times – such as the build up to the title song – when some of the dialogue was difficult to hear and I felt that opening night nerves may have slowed the pace of the show down.
However, the Mellows prove once again that while they are able to bring new work to Brewhouse audiences, such as Honk! and Bad Girls, they still retain the ability to bring new life to old favourites.

Oklahoma! continues at the Brewhouse arts centre until Saturday with performances at 7.30pm every night and a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.

For ticket details contact the Brewhouse box office on Burton 508100.

Bill Pritchard.

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