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Oliver!

Date

29th January 2015

Society

Harrogate Phoenix Players

Venue

Harrogate Theatre

Type of Production

Musical

Director

Mark Edwards

Musical Director

Oliver Longstaff

Choreographer

Vivienne Hall

Report

Author: Terry Harrison

After introducing their audience to a few less familiar shows in recent years, this Society has reverted to one of those which are not only better known but also virtually guaranteed to sell. This production was no exception and so proved a great success.

Much, of course, depends on the children as they open the show and here they were in good voice throughout with no evidence of first night nerves.  Indeed, such was the confidence of Rhys Gannon as Dodger that, even when a fairly minimal set still left him confronted by a problem with the entrance to Fagin’s kitchen, without hesitation he simply told Oliver that they would “just have to go the other way”.  Elliott Morland in the title role displayed all the charm you would expect and his rendition of “Where is love?” was particularly convincing.  I also enjoyed the performance of Kelly-Ann Knight, a newcomer to the Society, as Nancy, whilst Rob Hastings made a success of his role as Fagin.  The partnership of Chris Wall and Wendy England as Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney provided some humorous moments.  There was excellent support from the orchestra with the strings in particularly good form, which augurs well for next year’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

Perhaps it was through their greater familiarity with a show such as this but it seemed that the whole company came across as being more confident in their performance than on some past occasions.  An enjoyable and entertaining evening.