Oliver

Date 22nd October 2014
Society Worthing Musical Comedy Society
Venue The Connaught Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Mandy Chapman
Musical Director Nigel Newman

Report

Author: Jose Harrison

With such a superb show I hardly know where to begin so I will start with the production team.  This was outstanding directing where every tiny detail was obviously covered regardless of the size of the part and the overall result was a 5 star piece of theatre.  MD Nigel pulled out all stops and gave us a great evening of great music which really supported the cast without ever overshadowing them.  The singing and dancing were a joy but, this time, the acting outshone everything.  The opening to ‘Food’ was unforgettable with 60 young children all demanding to be fed!  A brilliant idea superbly choreographed and performed. Daniel Neale was playing Oliver on the night I went to the show.  His acting and singing did him great credit especially in ‘Where is Love’ and again in ‘Who will Buy’. Following this grand opening we met Widow Corney (Gillian Jackson) and Mr Bumble (Andrew Taylor).  With great facial expressions and over the top acting they were a delight to watch and listen to, bringing out a considerable amount of humour in both their fireside scenes.  The next scene was the Funeral Parlour which was acted sublimely by Sarah Papouis (Mrs Sowerberry), Oliver Taylor (Her downtrodden Husband), Jack Winrow (Noah) and Jenny Johnson (Charlotte). No effort had been spared to make this brilliantly funny. So often these small cameo roles appear to have had scant direction.  Not this time.  This was a magical scene in its own right. The fight scene between Noah Claypole and Oliver was extremely well choreographed and very convincing and Mr Sowerberry’s dance to ‘That’s your Funeral’  was outstanding.  Moving on we met The Artful Dodger (Harvey Lodge aged 12) leading ‘Consider Yourself’, a young man with a great future ahead of him.  This was another great scene with all the chorus singing and dancing with great gusto. This is not a show which over-works the adult ensemble but they certainly made the most of their opportunities, ‘Oom-Par-Par’ being outstanding.  Next to make an appearance was Andy Roberts as Fagin, with his gang of eleven first rate kids.  There was something very special about the set for this part of the show adding enormously to the atmosphere.  Andy was excellent as the miserly old crook and the girls, Terri Geal (Nancy) and Nikki Reynolds (Bet) lead ‘I’ll do Anything’ with a great sense of fun.  Terri’s rendition of ‘As long as he needs Me’ was an absolute show stopper. Add to this a really unpleasant and certainly not to be overlooked Bill Sykes forcibly played by Wayne Roberts and the marked contrast of the household of Mr Brownlow, together with excellent costumes, lighting, props and efficient back stage crew and it is no surprise that this was an outstanding production in every respect.