Marcus Brigstocke to sing at the Proms | Oklahoma! at the Royal Albert Hall

Marcus Brigstocke to sing at the Proms

Oklahoma! at the Royal Albert Hall

Marcus Brigstocke is to appear at the BBC Proms, singing in the musical Oklahoma!, Chortle can reveal,

The comedian will play Ali Hakim, the Persian travelling salesman who is vying with cowboy Will Parker for the affections of farm girl Ado Annie.

 Groucho Marx was originally considered for the role when the show opened on Broadway in 1943, but composers Rodgers and Hammerstein vetoed the idea.

John Wilson is conducting his own orchestra in the new 'semi-staged' production, which will be performed twice at London's Royal Albert Hall on August 11, at 2pm and 7.30pm. The evening show will be broadcast live on Radio 3 and BBC Four.

It is not the first time Brigstocke has appeared in musical theatre. He played King Arthur in the UK tour of Spamalot in 2010, and the following year played Albert Perks in the production of The Railway Children at London's Waterloo Station.

Also starring in Oklahoma! is actress Belinda Lang – known for her role in Nineties sitcom 2point4 Children – as Aunt Eller. She will be joined by musical theatre stars Nathaniel Hackmann in the role of Curly and Scarlet Strallen as Laurey.

Robert Fairchild as Will Parker David Seadon-Young as Jud Fry, and Lizzy Connolly as Ado Annie complete the line-up, together with a supporting cast of West End singers and dancers.

Oklahoma! was the first musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein and is based on Lynn Riggs's play Green Grow the Lilacs. It includes hits such as Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', People Will Say We're in Love and the title tune.

As for every Prom, up to 1,350 standing tickets will be available on the day of the concert, priced just £6, and available in person from the venue..

Here's Ali Hakim's defining song, It's A Scandal! It's An Outrage!, as sung by Peter Polycarpou in the 1998 London production.

* Brigstocke is launching a new improv show in London in September. He will appear alongside Pippa Evans, Rachel Parris and Paul Foxcroft – what he calls 'The Travelling Wilburys of Improv' – in the new show There Will Be Cake. Staged over five nights at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham, it will be based around the best and the worst moments of parties.

Brigstocke said: 'Working with experienced improvisers is ridiculously fun, we are all at the top of our game when we work together. It's a thrill and it makes me laugh like a fool.We have all wanted to work together for a long time and so far it's been a blast.'

The show is on from September 26 to 30.

Published: 20 Jul 2017

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