Oliver! really reaches out to the audience
The resurgence of Levin Performing Arts continues. While this traditional take on the Dickens-inspired musical may not push any boundaries, it shows plenty of ingenuity in shoe-horning its large cast and set onto the limited Performing Arts stage.
It also showcases some fine voices and an enthusiastic ensemble of urchins. Both voice and urchin come together in Larry McMyler’s Oliver, who has astounding crystal clear boy soprano tones and a winsome presence, counter balanced by the more earthy cockney character of Tiernan Aitchison’s Artful Dodger.
Kaylee Wicks brought a cultivated coarseness to her role as Nancy, but was equal to the show’s anthemic As Long As He Needs Me, having the measure of the character’s hard and soft sides.
There were some great vocals from Geoff Stokes as Mr Bumble, though as a character
by Lionel Bart Director Gary O’Brien Musical director Colin Taylor Choreographer Mary Dacombe-Bird Levin Performing Arts June 17 to July 2 Reviewed byRichardMays
just a bit shouty. At least he had clarity of diction. It wasn’t always easy to hear everyone.
As a late call up, Mark Peni delivered an idiosyncratic Fagin, perhaps forgetting during contemporary ad-libs while Reviewing the Situation that he wasn’t in a pantomime.
Bruce Clark’s Bill Sikes was brutish enough, and the show worked its way neatly around the absence of a Bullseye, the villain’s bull terrier.
Underpinning it all though was an accomplished eight-piece show band – maestro Colin Taylor, take a bow.