Resident producer Paul Ackerley said: “Who would have thought that 12 months after our local Alexandra Theatre was forced to close, it would feel totally normal to be reaching out to that other home of musical theatre, New York’s Broadway, having struck up new partnerships like the one with the Connaught Theatre, Worthing who are hosting our production, while the Alexandra Theatre box office is selling the show!
“When we do return to the auditorium soon, theatre practices behind the scenes will truly have moved on in leaps in bounds.”
Paul added: “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Tony Award-winning, great American classic Oklahoma! is often considered the first modern musical reshaping the Broadway landscape with its story of the farming rivalries encapsulated in the timeless song classics of Oh What a Beautiful Morning, The Surrey with the Fringe On Top, I Can’t Say No and of course the triumphant Oklahoma! The sensational triple threat tour company follow their runaway success with Guys and Dolls last year and in order to stage it, once again everyone has had to dig deep.”
Charlie Andrews, who plays the leading role of Curly, said: “Putting on such a big show in only two weeks seemed impossible but the cast and creatives were so well prepared and eager to get back to making theatre that the complex safety and staging arrangements ended up not being a hurdle at all.’
Izzy Formby Jackson, who plays the role of Ado Annie, added: “I love the way we’ve managed to maintain the charm and character of the show in such a strong way. It will look incredible on camera!” Olivia Charis, a member of the ensemble, agrees with her: ‘The show looks fabulous and has been the most unforgettable experience. It has taught me resilience and how anything is possible if you’re passionate enough! We’ve all worked particularly hard to adapt the choreography – to think on our feet, quite literally!”
The fact that the show will not be performed in front of a live audience hasn’t lessened the cast’s passion about the show, but rather it seems to have opened up more doors for them to share their work and they are more than pleased about that. Izzy added: “We were really hoping to perform to an audience but now thanks to the livestream we are able to reach even more people, with one stream even going over to America!
“We are extremely lucky even to be performing, so this is an outcome we are all thrilled with’.
Paul added: “The company is hugely grateful to the support of many, not least the university in enabling all our practical activity to continue on campus, and also both the Connaught Theatre, Worthing and The Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis plus a special mention to our production manager Chris Keen. Often the unsung hero, he truly has been the person who has brought all the arrangements together for us this year.”
Streaming from the Connaught Theatre, Worthing on Sunday, March 28 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.