24th October 2014
Adlington Community Centre
Type of Production
Jackie Doherty and Diane Simmons
Author: Patricia Connor
‘Oliver’ is a very British musical that has music and lyrics by Lionel Bart and is based upon the novel ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens. It had its premiere in the West End of London in 1960, then on Broadway in 1963 and was made into a very successful film in 1968
In this production by Adlington Music & Arts Society the Directors Jackie Doherty and Diane Simmons put together an enthusiastic and very talented cast who gave us an excellent very enjoyable production. The show got off to a good start with the chorus of orphans who set the standard that was maintained throughout. There were some very good performances from the cast notably Victoria Birchall who was outstanding as Nancy her rendition of “As Long as He Needs Me” was heart wrenching and you could see she felt and meant every word she sang. Liam Jones as the cheeky but likeable Artful Dodger and Jacob Hodgson as Oliver had good stage presence and both had good clear singing voices. Philip May as Fagin gave us an excellent secure characterisation of the iconic character while Mike Wignall was suitably menacing as Bill Sykes with Daisy the dog as Bullseye, helping to round of his character very well. The remaining members of this good cast also gave fine performances, there were no weak links and all appeared to work together as a team. Diction was clear and singing was very enjoyable from all on stage, dialogue was taken at just the right pace and could be heard meaning the action could be followed easily. The ladies, gentlemen and children of the chorus performed well throughout with energy and enthusiasm and the orchestra under the direction of Paul Stanley was an important part of the success of this production playing and supporting the cast very well. Choreography was more than suitable for the production and was executed well by the cast. The set designers and constructors provided an appropriate platform for the performers to work on although I did notice there were a few wobbles if the actors were a bit over enthusiastic with the doors. Also well done to sound, lighting and costumes which were very colourful and suited and enhanced the production. As a result the company produce an excellent evening’s entertainment for the audience to enjoy.
Congratulations to all concerned in bringing this show to the stage and thank you for inviting me I had a very enjoyable evening. Hope to see you for your next production.