Oliver! at the Grove Theatre Dunstable Review

9-11 August 2018

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Reviewed by Dorothy White

I have just spent a fantastic evening (9 August 2018) at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable watching the Grove Production Project Presents Oliver! It truly was a fantastic show.

I think everyone knows the story of Oliver, the classic tale of an orphan who was born and brought up in a Workhouse. Oliver was hungry, so he dared to ask for more! This turned out to be a very bad idea!

Oliver is sold to an undertaker but escapes and is found by The Artful Dodger who takes him to live with Fagin and his gang of young pick pockets. Oliver is sent out with Dodger to try his hand at picking pockets!

The entire cast of Oliver are talented children and young people between the ages of 8 and 21, some perform on stage whilst others help behind the scenes. They thoroughly enjoy taking part, making new friends and becoming reacquainted with old ones.

Nancy played by Olivia Phillips tonight was fabulous, she had an amazing voice! Asa Clark could have been Fagin, his hands, his walk, his movements were Fagin – he was fantastic. I was scared of Bill Sykes played by Taylar Hallsworth, I found myself holding my breath as he was walked round in the pub scene.

“Oom-pah-pah” was a very lively number with some talented dancers even managing the splits in the air!

Oliver, who tonight was played by Lydia Ball was great. Who Will Buy was brilliant, so many harmonies very well carried out by Tyler Shannon as the Rose Seller, Taisan Carys Patterson as the Strawberry Seller, Jude Barry as the Milkmaid and Meghan Davis as the Knife Grinder.

I loved the scenery, so simple but very effective with fast efficient scene changes and great lighting.

The costumes were very typical and true to the period.

The music provided by four musicians was kept at the right volume so it didn’t drown any of the singers.

Grove Production Project offers up to 100 children and young people the chance to work with a professional team every year to put on a full-scale musical with less than two weeks rehearsal! Well done Anna Elmore (Producer/Director) and your team!!

I thoroughly enjoyed Oliver and wish I was going again tomorrow night!

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost £12 (booking fees may apply).

Oliver! is at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable from 9-11 August 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.grovetheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01582 602080.

Grove Theatre, Grove Park, Court Drive, Dunstable, LU5 4GP | 01582 602080

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