Date 21st March 2012
Society Basingstoke Amateur Operatic Society
Venue Haymarket Theatre Basingstoke
Type of Production Musical
Director Gail Lowe
Musical Director Michael Hutton
Choreographer Gail Lowe


Author: Betty Haslam District 18

Director and Choreographer Gail Lowe’s superbly directed the musical.   Oliver (Ryan Hawkes) gave a good singing and acting performance in his first show with the society.  Dodger (Jarath Kilgour) was excellent as the cheeky character helping Oliver to pick a pocket or two.   Fagan (David Izzo )’ teaching his boys in the art of a pickpocket’ gave a very artistic performance, his hand movements and dance routines were very professional.   Nancy (Hayley Cheesworth) brought the show to life with her energy able to balance a bawdy manner as well as a soft sentimental side.   Bill Sykes (Ian Spud Smith) an excellent cruel villain and bully menacing in his speech and violence towards Nancy and the boys.  Mr Bumble (Tim Price) and Widow Corney (Kathy May-Miller) delighted the audience with their amorous courting scene in the workhouse.  Very good performances from Mr Sowerberry (Simon Eastwood) as the sinister undertaker and his wife Mrs Sowerberry (Carlie Cohen) taunted their unwilling apprentice Oliver.  Michael Hutton ‘s orchestral  experience showed  in his directing of the many hit numbers.  Stage Manager Coral Minifie, with Set Designers Colin & Rosie Eales, produced an excellent set. The fly crew and backstage team made wonderful set changes with flats ‘flying’ for the various scenes. Devon Eales, Andy Jones and Iain Stores lit the stage effectively enhanced by Keiron Murphy and Clive Slatter’s sound.   The principals, a strong cast and a very talented acting and dancing cast of children contributed to make ‘Oliver’ a memorable evening for the capacity audience.  Well done Basingstoke.