Oliver is reviewing the situation

Oliver, Stage Dooor Theatre Company, Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe until Saturday

Oliver is quite clearly a classic musical with an unshakable story and strong characters, but nonetheless a company putting on the show can not be complacent in its production.

Despite common misconceptions, Oliver needs careful direction, sensitive scenes require delicate handling and characters need to be understood and nurtured and the Stage Door Theatre Company has tackled the show pretty well.

The orchestra under the direction of David Bolton was fabulous but the set, although creating the right atmosphere was at times a little cumbersome and some changes were a bit distracting. With that said however, the company cleverly uses projected footage to show various passages in time which helped in some scene changes.

The company uses two young lads for playing each of the roles of Oliver and the Artful Dodger, with Joshua Day taking the title role on the opening night and Danny McCall as his cheeky cockney mentor. Joshua’s clear and angelic voice in his number ‘Where is Love’ was lovely with Danny relishing every moment in his role as Dodger.

The often disregarded role of Mr Sowerby was expertly played by Roger Loomes with Zoe Ransome putting in a strong performance as Nancy.

The iconic characters of Fagan and Sykes undoubtedly stole the show with seasoned local performers Stephen Lawrence and Richard Rumbelow taking the respective roles. Rumbelow instantly commands the stage in his subtle yet convincing portrayal of Nancy’s no-good lover. Stephen Lawrence was superb as Fagan with his rendition of ‘Reviewing the Situation’ beautifully handled and a joy to watch.

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Dean Wales

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