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Oklahoma! THE MANOR OPERATIC [...]; REVIEW.

REVIEW Oklahoma! THE MANOR OPERATIC SOCIETY, SUTTON COLDFIELD TOWN HALL BEFORE this rousing Rodgers & Hammerstein musical hit the stage the company had to send out an urgent appeal for cowboy boots, but they are certainly putting their heart and soul into a sparkling show.

If any of the footwear was borrowed it must be a good fit judging by the confidence displayed by the cast as they dance and sing their way through a string of memorable songs.

In this tale of rivalry between cowboys and farmers, love stories, humour and a touch of menace, Barry Styles and Barbara Hayward are the perfect match in the lead roles of Curly and Laurey who are smitten with each other but too stubborn to admit it.

In the big numbers like People Will Say We're in Love and The Surrey with the Fringe on top, the pair are excellent, and the whole company deliver a powerful finale with Oklahoma!

Styles also impresses in his clashes with the smouldering hired hand Jud Fry, convincingly played by Paul Roberts, and there are lovely performances from Andy Hooper as Will Parker, Beth Willis (Ado Annie, the girl who can't say no) and neatly timed humour from Lynne Ridge (Ali Hakim, the peddler with a roaming eye).

Good contributions, too, from Susan Bushby (Aunt Eller) and Eric Jones (Ike) in a show produced and directed by Nick Hardy with Ian Hayward's excellent musical direction and Maggie Moriarty's choreography.

Runs until Saturday.

PAUL MARSTON
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:1U7OK
Date:May 1, 2014
Words:247
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