THE AUDIENCE at the opening night of Lollipop Youth Theatre’s production of Oliver were certainly not left wanting more!
The casting and direction by Holly Fields was heartily satisfying and special mention has to go to Archie Marks as Fagan – he had just two weeks to learn the part and was word and expression perfect, despite an unstuck moustache!
Nancy, played by Jessica Lewis, was strong and she owned the stage when it came to renditions of songs such as ‘As Long as He Needs Me’. For me Mr Bumble stole the show. She was a firm audience favourite.
Played by Sophie Mason, Bumble was comical, easy to dislike but still Mason created a persona who you couldn’t help but have a soft spot for too.
Dr Grimwig (Georgia Andrews) executed the comic timing of a mad medical professional perfectly and everyone felt for Oliver (Amelie Reeves) whose innocent look and pure voice, especially with ‘Where is Love’, put a lump in your throat.
So excellent was the cast – the youngest was five-years-old – that everyone deserves a mention – the menacing Bill Sykes (Daniel Chorley) and the cheeky Artful Dodger (Oliver Moss).
Such was the effort put into the whole production it really is a must-see musical.
All the singing and musical timing kept the performances on tempo, up-beat and pitch perfect under the strict musical direction of James Geary.
Once again the Norbury was the perfect venue for this Victorian setting and it’s intimacy means that you feel a part of the story – tummies definitely rumbled during ‘Food Glorious Food’.
If you want to catch this excellent show it runs at the Norbury tonight at 7.30pm and tomorrow at 7.30pm when there is also a matinee at 2.30pm.
For tickets or more information, visit norburytheatre.co.uk or call 01905 770154.
Review by Anne-Marie Harley.