Oliver!

Date 16th March 2018
Society Worthing Musical Theatre Company
Venue The Pavilion, Worthing
Type of Production Musical
Director Tony Bright
Musical Director Brian D Steel
Choreographer Tony Bright

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Author: Jose Harrison

This was a really excellent production of one of my favourite musicals, superbly directed by Tony. It was well cast and there were some very clever scenes organised by the simple art of moving the various flights of steps. The musical numbers were well set, also by Tony, who knows how to move a chorus around with ease, making the whole show look very natural rather than staged. The open set, on several well used levels, was very well constructed and designed by Mark Winrow of MWSPRODUCTIONS who stage-managed this smoothly run show with his team of stage hands, avoiding lengthy scene changes. Tony made full use of the many stage levels, creating the illusion that the action on the fixed set, was taking place in many different locations. The balance between singers and the fantastic orchestra was perfect and the lighting design was of a professional standard, with some wonderful use of specials and some real scene setting washes. In fact technically this was a perfect production, and my congratulations go to Brian Mercer, sound and Martin Wright, lighting. Musical Director Brian’s orchestra were excellent. When you forget the orchestra are there, in my opinion, you know that they have done a first class job. The costumes were well considered completing the transporting of the audience into the world of Victorian England.

On the day that I attended this great production Beau West played Oliver and Morgan Pharoah played Artful Dodger. These two lads are certainly very talented in both singing and acting. Beau singing ‘Where is Love’ tore at the heart strings with his lovely voice and expressive face. Morgan was equally talented giving all he could to the wonderful part of Dodger. Both these boys should have a great future and a great deal of fun in amateur dramatics in the future.

Chelsea Love was really excellent as Nancy with a good voice and acting ability as good as any I have seen. I loved her rendition of ‘As Long as He Needs Me’ and in total contrast her version of ‘It’s a Fine Life’ when she was accompanied by the boys and Bet, well played and sung by Annie Winrow. Tim Kimber as Fagin was extremely good, both pathetic and sympathetic, and you could see there was a nice rapport between him and his gang who all performed and sang with strength. Paul Wilson as Bill Sykes came over as a thoroughly unpleasant piece of goods to be avoided at all costs, as did Mr and Mrs Sowerberry, Anthony Towers and Ruth Roberts and their staff and family. Tim Ingram and Sally McDonald were perfect in the parts of Mr Bumble and Widow Corney providing a great bit of comedy with the hilarious number ‘I Shall Scream’. All the other principals gave good supporting performances, the relationships between the characters being clearly defined, and the ensemble, in their turn, added greatly to the show.