Oliver!

Date 1st March 2014
Society Glenrothes Amateur Musical Association
Venue Rothes Halls, Glenrothes
Type of Production Musical (Youth Production)
Director Scott Melvin
Musical Director Robert Anthony
Choreographer Neil Hamilton

Report

Author: Mike Pendlowski

It always adds to the pleasure of attending a production where the enthusiasm and dedication of the cast is obvious from the first rise of the curtain, and here in GAMA Youth it is, most certainly, the case. Featuring a cast of some fifty, 10 to 16 year olds, GAMA Youth presented a show of which they can be well proud! The opening chorus gave full scope for the fine ensemble, well directed, making maximum use of the multilevel set. Callum Stott (Mr Bumble) and Hazel Barlow (Widow Corney) worked extremely well together, as did Callum on his own in the solo “Boy For Sale”. The two minor principal – but nonetheless important – characters of Mr & Mrs Sowerberry brought “That’s Your Funeral” to life, before we were delighted with Oliver’s solo “Where is Love”. While Ewan James held centre stage with confidence, you could literally hear a pin drop in the auditorium. We then move on to probably my favourite sequence of numbers, taking place in Fagin’s Den. In “Consider Yourself” Oliver joins forces with one of the best Artful Dodgers I have had the pleasure to see in recent years – here played by Joel Allsopp. An animated Fagin (Brandon Low) leads the lively “Pick a Pocket or Two” followed by our introduction to Nancy (Hannah Paterson) whose depth of character belies her youthful years. “I’d do Anything” was a fine ensemble number, rightfully earning serious applause from the audience. “Be Back Soon” closed the first act – and I don’t think anyone had any alternative ideas! Act Two opens with another rousing chorus, Oom-Pah-Pah, ably led by Nancy. A final introduction follows in the shape of Bill Sykes, played with just the correct amount of nastiness by Dylan Ross. Act Two reprises five of the earlier numbers in the show – and why not – they were all performed well enough to be heard twice – at least! Fagin’s “Reviewing the Situation” received well-deserved audience reaction. This song – like many others in the musical – is made all the harder to carry off effectively since it is now so “well-known” by members of the audience, thanks to the many tours and films of the show over the years. However, congratulations GAMA Youth on a fine show. Congratulations also to your Direction team, whose job can only have been made easier by having such a talented group to work with! Thank you for inviting me to attend your performance.