Review – Oliver! – Bath Light Operatic Group & Curtain Up Theatre Schools – Roper Theatre (Hayesfield School)
Bath’s Oliver takes the biscuit! As well as any other meagre scraps of food he can get his hands on…
This collaboration between Bath Light Operatic Group and the children from Curtain Up Theatre School produced a wonderful performance of this classic musical. It tells the tale most of us know well of Oliver Twist; who asks for “more”, is cast out of the workhouse, and finds himself recruited by the Artful Dodger to be one of Fagin’s collection of young pickpockets.
One of the things that really stands out about this production is the attention to detail. Given that it’s an amateur production you might reasonably assume that it could be a little make-do-and-mend when it comes to costumes or lighting or the finer points like set changes. Not so. (In fact Fagin’s wig and beard was so good it even got its own mention in the programme!) The costumes were excellent and would not have looked out of place in a professional performance, the lighting was exactly on cue, and the sets were changed like clockwork. A special mention also has to go to the wonderful choreography (Annette Wilsher) and direction (Tristan Carter), and to the performers of all ages for executing it so well!
Oliver! is naturally heavily reliant on music to drive the story and explain the plot, and so it’s important that each song be delivered with skill and the lyrics be easy to pick out; as not all audience members would have seen the show/film/heard the songs before. The singers, right from young Oliver (Matthew Sani), through to Nancy (Tabitha Cox) and Fagin (Rob Dallimore), did a fantastic job and as well as hitting the notes, captured their characters perfectly at the same time.
The whole production was a joy to watch and everyone involved clearly gave it their all. It’s most certainly well worth seeing if you can get a ticket.