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|Lisa Baird & Paul L. Martin in Ruthless!|
'The Okai Collier Company's last production of Elegies for Angles, Punks and Raging Queens at the Bridewell Theatre last year was outstanding. But with Ruthless they have moved into another league. I advised you not to missElegies. Unfortunately, by the time you read this Ruthless's month long run may be over - but there are rumours that the show may make it into the West-End in March 2003. I hope for your sakes that it does, because it should not be missed and will be a hot ticket if there is any justice in the world. What was also impressive was that for a Fringe production, the show had high production values and sound between the vocals and the two pianos were well mixed in the small space. In short, the production was a joy - and in a West-End currently full of compilation shows and revivals of worn out favourites, Ruthless is desperately needed.'
MUSICAL STAGES | Mark Barlow
|Toni Kanal & Johanne Murdock in My Matisse|
My Matisse – Jermyn Street Theatre
‘I doubt that there are any productions - West End or Fringe - that don't exhaust the entire production team in their efforts to bring a perfect product to the stage. And just why some don't work and others do can sometimes be a matter of luck as much as anything else. With 'My Matisse' the pieces of the jigsaw have snapped together perfectly - though I don't think here that luck has anything to do with it. The nature of the theatre, the ability of the actors, a fine script, thoughtful direction and design, and stunning music have combined to produce an elegantly stylish and sensitive production of the very first order. No wonder there were cries of "Bravo" from the audience at the end of the piece - well-earned and most justly deserved.’
Peter Brown | The London Theatre Guide
‘The Okai Collier Company deserves a place in the Britain’s Black Hall of Fame for bringing this affirmative and highly entertaining show to UK audiences for the first time.’
Roger Foss | What’s On
‘This is a wonderful old-style American musical, which should have been seen here so long ago. At least it’s finally been given its due by Omar Okai and his brilliant cast, with an economy staging good enough to bear comparison with my rosy memories of the Broadway version.’
‘Okai Collier can always be relied on to bring us high quality fringe musicals that one always feels should go on further than they do … Omar Okai has assembled a killer cast … in fact every element of the production is well realised.’
Mark Barlow | Musical Stages Online
|Christopher Terry & Rob Carroll in The Smilin' State|
The Smilin’ State – Hackney Empire
'Omar F. Okai's direction of the outstanding cast, a succinct set design from Kate Bannister and Karl Swinyard, and a well thought out lighting plan from Lawrence Stromski has delivered a fringe show that is faultless. One only hopes thatThe Smilin' State gets the chance to tour the fringe circuit.'
Dale Maitland Cartwright | North LondonNewspapers
Dale Maitland Cartwright | North LondonNewspapers
'…this is the play you must see. In fact, I fail to think of a right-minded person who would not see the point and importance of this piece. I expect the Royal Court will be grabbing this with both its hands by the end of its run (and if not, more fool them). Constantly surprising, entertaining, warm, heartfelt and tugging at the right strings at the right times, I was literally moved to tears at the end. I think that says it all.’
Allan Taylor | EXTRA! EXTRA!
The Corruption of Dorian Gray – Lion and Unicorn Theatre
‘The show is pulled together under masterful direction by Simon James Collier, who allows each scene to melt into one another seamlessly. This makes for a very smooth, stylish production that suffers none of the glitches that often plague small venues, and allows the performances to come off as naturally as they did. ‘Excellent cast, script and direction.’
***** Everything Theatre
Madame X – Jack Studio Theatre
‘Fantastic show… Director Omar F. Okai uses the stage space beautifully… A mother’s love endures through all – that is at the heart of Simon James Collier’s mesmerising play… neither my colleague or myself foresaw the emotional juggernaut of a trip that the second act was going to take us…’
|Glenn Rage, Julie Rogers & Basienka Blake in Preacherosity|
Preacherosity – Jermyn Street Theatre
‘Herold is a splendid phrase-smith… …if you’ve ever worried about religious groups and fundamentalism this won’t make you feel any easier… …this script is full of laughs… …Director Omar F. Okai gets wonderful teamwork from his cast with spot-on timing…’
Howard Loxton | Rogues and Vagabonds
'The writing packs one hell of a punch. Larry Herold can definitely write comedy. Great casting adds to the charisma of Preacherosity. A must see!'
“Warm, funny and brilliantly performed…”
The New York Times
|Wyatt Wendels & Rory Fairbairn in Jekyll & Hyde: Corpus Delicti|
Jekyll & Hyde: Corpus Delicti – Lion and Unicorn Theatre
'The obsessed Doctor Jekyll frantically scrawling on the walls of the room looking for answers to how and what he has created – it is a very charged atmosphere, fantastically staged by Simon James Collier. The story has been given a new spin by Adam Dechanel, and is utterly absorbing. A fantastic thrill ride, not for the faint hearted!’