Olivia!

Date 2nd November 2019
Society Walberton Players
Venue Walberton Village Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Claire Dorey

Report

Author: Jose Harrison

For a youth company this was a very ambitious choice of production, when the cast had so many young children in principal parts. Full of colour and interesting characters it was a very good effort with children who showed a lot of promise for the future. The play is a similar story line to Oliver but involving young girls in an orphanage at the start.

Chloe was very charming as Olivia who sang solo a number of times and seemed to be on stage most of the show.  It was a remarkable effort for one so young. I loved her opening song, ‘I Want to be a Lady’ and found her rendition of ‘There has to be Some Happiness’ very moving. This is a young lady with a lot of talent.

Amelia played Mrs Murdstone as a strong Miss Hannigan type personality who portrayed her cruel side with great glee, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was great the way the girls all shook with fear every time she entered the room or spoke. In the main, they were all very involved in the storyline and with such a lot of movement going on there was lots to do for even the smallest and youngest performers. I guess there were some youngsters in the company who were performing on stage for the very first time who will, I am sure, with time gain more experience and stage skills which will show in their ever growing confidence.

Grace gave an outstanding performance as Eliza, singing quite remarkably for one of her age. Her rendition of ‘All I want is a Room Somewhere’ from My Fair Lady was lovely. I thought her costume was great and her hat was brilliant. All the principals acted throughout with conviction extending to their body language and facial expressions. Their various costumes and quick changes must have been quite a challenge to their hard working chaperones. I loved Dicken, a sort of Artful Dodger, played by Matthew who also doubles himself as Roseanne’s criminal father. I will be quite honest that I got a little confused at this point as I was having some trouble hearing all the dialogue. But the one song that came over outstandingly was Roseanne the criminal. She was superb!! My criticism of the production was the music which was much too loud and overpowering for such pretty young voices.