|Date||26th May 2018|
|Venue||Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Ewen A Ritchie|
|Choreographer||Sophie Hamilton Pike|
Author: Douglas J Clark, Regional Rep
“Please Sir, can I have some more?” were the words on the lips of the audience at the end of this outstanding production. The production team managed to bring every emotion – joy, pathos and even horror – to its full depth. The 14 strong chorus of Orphans/Fagin’s gang shone with confidence in both their singing and dancing – particularly in “Food, Glorious Food” and “Be Back Soon”. Young Archie MacLean was outstanding as Oliver Twist, with never a word, note or step out of place. His rendition of “Where is love?” was heart-rending. Rory McIver as the Artful Dodger gave an excellent portrayal of cheeky-cockney lad and concerned mentor. Callum Stuart’s portrayal of the hard–shelled, but soft-centred, Fagin was spot on. He had a genuine rapport with the kids in his gang which was evident in the “Pick a Pocket or Two” and “Be Back Soon” numbers. His rendition of “Reviewing the Situation” was hilarious. Amanda Massie was, for me, the perfect Nancy moving easily from the deliciously raucous, almost bawdy, in “Oom Pah Pah” to the movingly thoughtful in “As Long As He Needs Me”. Ian Towns as Bill Sykes was evil personified and his rendition of “My Name” was truly menacingly delivered. Chris Wallace and Anne Hingston as Mr Bumble and Widow Corney were a brilliant comic pairing, their verbal sparring ringing lots of bells with the couples in the audience! Strong support was given by Andrew Brebner and Wendy Ross (Mr & Mrs Sowerberry), Bill Wood (Mr Brownlow), Hilary Esson (Mrs Bedwin) and James Stephen (Dr Grimwig). The adult chorus were in fine voice especially in the “Consider Yourself” and “Who Will Buy?” numbers with some delightful harmonies and the company movement was excellent. The 12 piece orchestra, under the baton of conductor Ewan A Ritchie, produced a sound that was always sympathetic to the singers. The costuming was appropriate to the period and to the characters. The set was suitably grey to reflect the London of the time and allowed for easy transition between the exterior and interior scenes. Congratulations to all at AOC Productions for another outstanding production.