Josie Lawrence
Hyoie O’Grady   Amara Okereke

Rodgers & Hammerstein's


Music by Richard Rodgers
Book & Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs
Original choreography by Agnes de Mille

Festival Theatre
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Brighton Argus


Daily Telegraph

Handsome cowboy Curly McLain is head over spurs for farm owner Laurey Williams. But lonely ranch-hand Jud Fry has his sinister sights set on her too.

And Laurey’s not the only girl with cowboy problems. Ado Annie’s beau Will Parker is back from chasing steers in Kansas City, where he won the fifty dollars her father insists Will must have to marry her. But this irrepressible farm girl won’t be bought quite so easily.

Luckily for this love-struck crew of spirited ranchers and bronco busters, wise Aunt Eller is riding ahead of the herd.

With its glorious score and spirit of exuberant optimism, Oklahoma! is the American musical by which all others are judged. Rodgers and Hammerstein broke new ground in perfectly integrating music and dance to tell a story whose darker undercurrents never overwhelm its rapturous vitality. Among the unforgettable songs are Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’, The Surrey With The Fringe On Top and the show-stopper Oklahoma.

Jeremy Sams returns to Chichester to direct; his award-winning productions in London and New York include The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music. Set designs are by Robert Jones whose extensive work at Chichester includes Mack & Mabel and Kiss Me, Kate, with costume design by Brigitte Reiffenstuel. Choreography is by Matt Cole whose recent work includes Fiddler on the Roof at the Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End.

Josie Lawrence, whose stage work ranges from Shakespeare at the RSC and Globe to The King and I in the West End, plays Aunt Eller. Her extensive television credits include Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Humans and Outside Edge, and she makes regular appearances at the Comedy Store.

Hyoie O’Grady plays Curly; he recently played Enjolras in Les Misérables in the West End, having graduated from London’s Mountview Academy of Arts last year. Also making her Chichester debut, as Laurey, is Amara Okereke, winner of the 2018 Stage Debut Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Cosette in Les Misérables.

Presented by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe

Purchase a digital copy of the programme

Our programmes are designed to be the perfect insightful companion to the production. The Oklahoma! programme includes an article written by Dr Arianne Johnson Quinn which gives a background to the musical and explores the Oklahoma of the period in which the musical is set. Todd S. Purdum writes about the partnership and musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein. In addition the programme includes rehearsal photography, biographies, events and news from the Theatre.

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Purchasing a digital programme does not include the purchase of a printed programme.

Prologue tickets available from 2 March



An irresistible Oklahoma!. Josie Lawrence has perfect timing, Hyoie O’Grady is a charming Curly with a soaring voice and Amara Okereke’s lovely Laurey sings with sincerity in Jeremy Sams’s exuberant and sensitive production. There is phenomenal support from the rest of the cast, especially from Isaac Gryn, who plays Will Parker, Emmanuel Kojo’s Jud is superb too – earthed yet emotionally precarious, with a handsome singing voice. Scott Karim’s Ali Hakim has irresistible eccentricity


All the flouncing gingham and cowboy beefcake anyone could crave in this exuberant staging of the 1943 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. There is romance, high-kicking energy and a spirit of pioneering adventure. A stirring, ambitious reinvention of a classic


Jeremy Sams's production of Oklahoma! comes across as a harmonic, happy breeze with an insane amount of dancing. From the opening bars of Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s wagon- load of songs – have a sunshine effect on any audience. Amara Okereke is stunning as the tough, choosy Laurey, a good match for the extrovert Curly who’s endearingly played by newcomer Hyoie O’Grady. Saddle up and get down to this summer smash

Mail on Sunday

Amara Okereke brings an electrifying presence and soaring voice, Hyoie O’Grady and Emmanuel Kojo sing characterfully, and respectively bring cocky likability and abused vulnerability to Curly and Jud, while Josie Lawrence engagingly makes the gun-toting matriarch Aunt Eller a woman who knows about life


Jeremy Sams’s resplendent revival of one of the all-time great American musicals delivers what any summer audience could want. If ever the exclamation mark of a title could be felt on the pulse, this is the prime example. It’s purty impressive all round

Daily Telegraph

It’s a cracker, a spectacular production, huge on energy and passion, choreographed to complete perfection. Director Jeremy Sams masterminds it all handsomely, Matt Cole’s choreography is every bit as impressive as the classic songs he’s working with, and Brigitte Reiffenstuel’s costume design is another key element in a rich summer package. A big summer hit

Chichester Observer

This Oklahoma! cast give a rootin’, tootin’, chaps-slappin’ song-and-dance show. Mark Henderson’s artistry adds sumptuousness to a show that has already had a dreamy start. Matt Cole’s choreography is a whirl of communal gusto and individual detail, this dancing has guts

Sunday Times

Hyoie O'Grady has all the floppy-haired machismo and singing chops to make for a cool and charismatic young lover Curly, Amara Okereke excels as Laurey


The hoedowns are terrifically danced and fantastically led by Isaac Gryn, and the ensemble cast are brimful of outstanding individual performances — not least Bronté Barbé as Ado Annie in this excellent revival. Emmanuel Kojo is superb as the lowly farm worker


There’s plenty of West End pizzazz in the big summer show. Robert Jones’s handsome set is a fine platform for some tremendous set-pieces. A surefire hit!

Broadway World

This summer’s smash-hit musical. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic has returned in triumph to the CFT with a traditional, tuneful and energetic production led by two potential stars of the future, Hyoie O’Grady and Amara Okereke, as Curly and Laurey. Josie Lawrence was a vital central figure as Aunt Eller, giving the role more force than usual and all the better for that. The company were outstanding with their enthusiasm and athleticism. As usual at CFT, the set design and effects were terrific. This production is more than OK, it’s a KO

Chichester Post

Funny, poignant and with music to melt both your heart and your eardrums, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more perfectly executed musical revival this summer. A stupendous ensemble, all of whom embrace Matt Cole’s blistering choreography with such vigour that the floor of Robert Jones’s lush, sun-drenched set will surely need reinforcing before the end of the run, you’ll be on your own feet come to the curtain call


Amara Okereke excels at portraying the emotions of a young girl on the brink of adulthood and who sings melodiously as well as being a fluidly sensuous dancer, while Hyoie O’Grady, is a cool, charismatic, handsome Curly. Scott Karim is a larger than life, and very funny, Ali Hakim. A fantastically talented cast

British Theatre Guide

Cast & Creatives


Cast List

Josie Lawrence

Aunt Eller

Hyoie O’Grady


Amara Okereke


Michelle Andrews


Georgie Ashford


Lindsay Atherton

Vivian & Ensemble

Imogen Bailey


Bronté Barbé

Ado Annie Carnes

Jeremy Batt


Alex Christian

Ensemble & Dance Captain

Nicolas Colicos

Andrew Carnes

Christopher Dickins

Cord Elam & Ensemble

Paige Fenlon


Isaac Gryn

Will Parker

Alyn Hawke

Ike & Ensemble

Bethany Huckle


Scott Karim

Ali Hakim

Emmanuel Kojo

Jud Fry

Emily Langham

Gertie Cummings & Ensemble

Michael Lin


Rory Shafford


Jak Skelly


Rhys West


Anna Woodside


Creative team

Cast List

Jeremy Sams


Robert Jones

Set Designer

Brigitte Reiffenstuel

Costume Designer

Matt Cole


Nigel Lilley

Musical Supervisor, Musical Director & Dance Arrangements

David Cullen


Mark Henderson

Lighting Designer

Paul Groothuis

Sound Designer

Charlotte Sutton

Casting Director




Running Time
2 hours and 45 minutes including an interval