Reviewed by Jo Bennett
We went to see Oliver at the gorgeous Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury. This well-known and popular musical is presented as an amateur production; however, the standard was equal to a West End presentation.
From the outset when Oliver, played by Theo Collis, stole our hearts, the high standard and commitment of everyone involved was evident. In only 7 days of intense rehearsal, this huge cast of 123 young people aged from only 7 to 23 brought passion and life to a truly privileged audience. Everything including the clever sets lights costumes and music compounded the amazing talent we enjoyed.
To mention just a few cast members; Connor Dyer made a very real Fagin, acting and singing so well he had us all tapping and singing along to songs, such as Got to Pick a Pocket and Reviewing the Situation, he truly gave some experienced stars some competition. Nancy played by Casey bird was as robust and vulnerable as demanded and she held the stage totally as she sang As Long as he Needs Me beautifully. The ensemble of street criers; Racheal Thomas, Marie Evans, Alona Walsh and Kristian Nobbs gave memorable performances as individuals and as the group. James Pennington as Bill Sykes was a truly bad egg as expected and Riley Bettie as the Artful Dodger and George Watkins as Mr Bumble all gave outstanding performances.
In essence, this production has everything and was of such a high standard especially as the cast are all so young. Trying to review this show cannot do it justice, only experiencing it will.
Lionel Bart’s musical is definitely a long living musical that will continue to delight audiences for many years to come and the Vivo Darte group did him proud. This family show couldn’t have got any better, so a full 5 stars from us.
For other shows at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury.
Waterside Theatre, Exchange Street, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1UG | 0844 871 7607