Oliver

Date 10th October 2015
Society Alcester Musical Theatre Company
Venue Palace Theatre Redditch
Type of Production Musical
Director Bev Hatton
Musical Director Mandy Alexander/Orchestral Direction Joe George
Choreographer Dawn Tolley

Report

Author: Ian G Cox

From the classic opening scene as the orphans gathered for their first number it was the talented youngsters who provided the energy in a production that occasionally lacked a bit of pace. That said this show did full justice to the  memorable Lionel Bart  score and the iconic story was well represented in a musical playing to packed houses, and if the final night was anything to go by, very appreciative ones,

Oliver (Oliver Adams) and Artful Dodger (Billy Vale) led the orphans most adeptly in song and dance. Oliver’s rendition of “Where is Love?” was especially emotional and convincing capturing the audience’s attention. Dodger leading the chorus in “Consider Yourself” was a real fun number. Fagin (Paul Alexander) reflected the characteristics of the role in an accomplished manner, particularly in “Pick a Pocket or Two” and “Be Back Soon”.

Mr Bumble (David Hill) and The Widow Corney, (Kay Foster) played an enjoyable scene in “I Shall Scream” and for the piece “That’s Your Funeral” Mr Sowerberry ( Malcolm Steward) and Mrs Sowerberry (Helen Barrett) performed well. Mention here of Malcolm Steward who impressively at the last minute also played the role of Mr Brownlow.

Bill Sykes (Mark Williams) brought power and menace the playing of this character demands, both vocally and in dialogue delivery. The ill-fated Nancy (Millie Coles) demonstrated drama in her singing – “As Long as He Needs Me” and moving stage presence. Also leading the chorus in “Oom- Pah-Pah” to give a rousing start to Act 2  

Pleasing harmony - “Who Will Buy?” - was in evidence from the quartet, Rose Seller (Sheila Greenfield), Strawberry Seller (Stephanie Dean), Milkmaid (Charlotte McKay) and Knife Grinder (Dave Hatton).

The principal characters were supported by an accomplished ensemble that provided forceful performances in the big numbers combining with a well-balanced orchestra in a production enhanced by the inclusion of a wide a variety of costumes and props that provided the right level of authenticity.

A well-managed set accommodating efficient scene changes, creative lighting and sound effects made this a theatrical experience for the audience who all enjoyed an excellent evening of entertainment.

 Ian G Cox

Regional Representative - Worcestershire East (District 12)

NODA – Be Inspired by Amateur Theatre