Belinda Lang on Oklahoma!

Ashley Day as Curly and Belinda Lang as Aunt Eller. Picture: contributed
Ashley Day as Curly and Belinda Lang as Aunt Eller. Picture: contributed
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STARRING in a musical is something of a first for actress Belinda Lang.

Best known for her role in the 90s sitcom 2 Point 4 Children, she tours to the Festival Theatre next week in the Rodgers and Hammerstien musical Oklahoma!

“I’ve never done an enormous musical like this before. It’s an extraordinary experience and I’m loving it,” she says.

“Based on a play, the fundamental story has a lot of depth to it. On top of that you have two of the most talented writers in their field writing extremely clever lyrics and beautiful music, so it’s a winning combination.”

Based on the Lynn Riggs’ Green Grow the Lilacs, Oklahoma! was first produced on Broadway in 1943.

It tells of star-crossed lovers in the Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s, and features classic songs such as Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, I Cain’t Say No, and The Surrey With the Fringe on Top.

Lang plays Aunt Eller, the matriarchal lynchpin of the piece. “She’s very salt-of-the-earth,” she smiles, alongside Gary Wilmot as Ali Hakim.

“It’s about the young territory of Oklahoma about to become its own state and the pride in the land.

“And then there is this young couple who try to out-cool each other, but who eventually get together. It’s sweet and uplifting.”

Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, with new choreography by Drew McOnie, Lang admits she is impressed by the production.

“I have been astonished by the cast. They are such an extraordinarily gifted group,” she says.

“And then there’s this extraordinary ballet at the end of the first act.

“We’ve all sat and wept buckets watching it – it’s such a powerful piece of storytelling in dance and you know absolutely what it means. It really is beautiful.”

Oklahoma!, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, Tuesday-Saturday, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm), £16.50-£42.50, 0131-529 6000