THEATRE REVIEW Glorious cast serve up classic stage treat
OLIVER is a muchloved show, fun for both performers and audience alike, and Bollington Light Opera Group’s production of the classic did not disappoint.
A rousing opening of “Food Glorious Food” from the exuberant youth chorus set the high standard, upheld by Tavis Hill’s excellent singing as Mr Bumble and Helen Valentine’s comic timing as Widow Corney.
Young Sam Tapp in the titular role was so well cast; the innocence of the character shone through, and his rendition of “Where is Love” was very special. In contrast Chris Croxford gave us a confident, swaggering Dodger, with strong singing and a well-sustained cockney accent, followed by a tremendous performance from Richard Comish as Fagin – the characterisa- tion, accent and singing were exactly what an audience might hope to see. Congratulations to all three.
The adult ensemble was also very strong and wellchoreographed throughout; their enjoyment in performing the chorus numbers, including “Oom pah pah” and “Who Will Buy” was quite infectious.
The leading lady Stephanie Evans played the tragic Nancy well, suitably carefree among friends, yet anxious and downtrodden in the company of Craig Harris’s menacing Bill Sykes. I was somewhat distracted by Nancy’s wig, a strange style choice which in my view didn’t suit the character particularly well; an unfortunate anomaly in an otherwise extremely well-costumed production.
This Dickens’ tale seeks to remind us of the contrasting fortunes of life, and the Directors certainly achieved this is their pleasing version of the stage play. The pure joy of the musical numbers was perfectly balanced with the bleakness of the original story, making this a well-rounded and thoroughly enjoyable production.
Altogether a great afternoon in the newly refurbished Civic Hall - I’m looking forward to “Showtime” in November. by Claire Bowen @bowenreviews
Scenes from the Bollington Light Opera Group’s production of Oliver!
●● Sam Tapp was outstanding in the leading role