National Operatic & Dramatic Association
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1st November 2017


Saddleworth Musical Society


Saddleworth School

Type of Production



Anita Stuttard

Musical Director

Harry Butterworth


Author: Sharon Drummond

The set looked very good with a stage crew who worked hard with scene changes so there was minimum disruption. Some scenes were played out in front of the blacks to aid scene changes but seeing crew in modern clothing broke the illusion. The sound was great and I’m always impressed here that the large orchestra do not drown out the voices as is the case at many societies especially when the Orchestra is in front of the stage. The lighting complemented the piece and I particularly liked the silhouette pieces on the bridge which were very effective. The props and costumes looked great and worked well.  


Oliver was played beautifully by Sam Sharp, aged 10 who looked and sounded the part. His acting was great and his diction very clear. His vocals on “Where is Love” and “Who will Buy” were stunning.


Maddison Thew aged 9 was excellent as the Artful Dodger and worked well alongside Oliver and Fagin. She was never upstaged by the adult cast and had massive amounts of stage presence and great vocals too. Her delivery was spot on and I totally enjoyed her performance and look forward to seeing her in future shows.


Peter Fitton was great as Fagin. He had the right mix of comedy and pathos to command the stage and with good delivery on his vocals and brilliant acting he was mesmerising to watch.


Nancy was played well by Alison Starrs with nice vocals but her singing out of accent doesn’t work for me. It is a personal thing but to go from broad London in dialogue to clipped English in song throws the characterisation. However this was a lovely warm performance and the scenes with the kids were great and looked like a lot of fun.


Martin Bradbury was brilliantly scary as Bill Sykes with clear diction and great vocals and Chloe Whatmough as Bet was a joy to watch with great dance moves and lovely vocals.


Mr Bumble played by Brent Andrews was very funny and Debbie Thew as Widow Corney was more than a match for him with great vocals and great comedy timing.


Mr and Mrs Sowerbury played by Dave Rigby and Elaine Shaw were both characterised well and the slapstick comedy worked very well. Mary Carsberg was a very good Charlotte and played well opposite Matthew Shiel as Noah Claypole who did a brilliant job being the annoying, bullying character.


Thomas Rowland made a mischievous Charley Bates with Gordon Russell playing a very funny Dr Grimwig. Frank Boocock was a lovely Mr Brownlow and Mirriam Lawton as Mrs Bedwin was warm and delivered her lines with clear diction and feeling.


The ensemble pieces were lovely and well played by each member of the cast. Everyone involved both onstage and backstage should be commended for a great evenings entertainment including the production team who put together a great show