Reading Operatic Society performed Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at The Hexagon, Reading on 25-29 September 2007.
It was a poignant show in many respects because it marked the first performance of the society after the passing of its long-standing, popular lighting designer, Geoff Bamford. As chairman Yvonne Maynard noted in the programme “he gave so much of his life unstintingly to the hobby that he loved.” Oklahoma! was dedicated to his memory and was performed by a cast of 66 including dancers from the Linda Butler School of Dancing.
Principals included Maria Lukeman as Laurey, Damian Sollesse as Curly, Clare Brown as Ado Annie Carnes, Lesley Philips as Aunt Eller, Andrew Phillips as Jud Fry, Allan Watkins as Will Parker, Mark Williams as Ali Hakim, Raymond Burton as Andrew Carnes, David Price as Ike Skidmore and Alex Renshaw as Gertie Cummings. The producer and choreographer was Jill Morgan and musical director John Lawes, alongside the Reading Operatic Society’s residential production team – David Parsonson production manager, Carol Hodgkinson stage manager and Kim Hollamby lighting designer.