Adrian and Sandie Clay’s Oklahoma story

When the classic musical Oklahoma! comes to a York stage next month, it will bring back a wave of happy memories for two cast members.
Adrian and Sandie Clay, who will be part of New Earwick Musical Society’s production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein tale, had just got engaged when they took their roles in Rowntree Youth Club’s 1967 performance of the same show.

The Huntington couple met through the club, with the production 44 years ago seeing Adrian, 66, play Oklahoma!’s leading role of Curly, while Sandie was cast as Ado Annie. And they will relive the early days of their relationship when the New Earswick group’s show comes to the Joseph Rowntree Theatre – the same venue as 1967.

Former catering manager Adrian said: “We joined the society this year, so when we found they were putting on Oklahoma!, we were determined to be part of it – it has such fond memories for us.

“Sandie joined the club in 1965, when I was playing Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun, and the first time I saw her was when she walked into the rehearsal rooms. She looked like Sandie Shaw and her eyes were made up like Dusty Springfield’s. I was immediately attracted to her.”

Sandie, 64, admits she was initially less keen, saying: “I thought Adrian was a typical leading man who felt he was God’s gift to women, so it took me a while!

“But my mother said it was as if I was fighting it, so she must have felt there was a spark there – and she was right. We lived about 50 houses apart on Burton Stone Lane, but we’d never met before and might never have met without the club.”

Adrian popped the question just before the 1967 Oklahoma! production, where he was described as playing Curly “with charm and assurance” and Sandie was billed as “a natural comedienne”. They were married at St Luke’s Church in June 1968. The couple’s love of the stage has rubbed off on their children, Becky, Nicki and Daniel, who performed alongside their parents in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in 1988. However, Adrian and Sandie have never played opposite each other as leading man and woman in the same show.

“We’ve always got a great buzz out of performing and meeting people through the theatre,” said Adrian, who plays Ado Annie’s father, Andrew Carnes, in Oklahoma!, which runs from November 9 to 12. Tickets are available by phoning Stella Waft on 01904 768182.

Chorus member Sandie said: “We keep revisiting the film of Oklahoma! for the memories, so being part of it again will be something special.”

10:09am Tuesday 11th October 2011

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