9th September 2012

Oliver – May 2009


Oliver – May 2009

20th to 23rd May 2009 at Lighthouse, Poole
Oliver – May 2009

Oliver – Musical 2009
by Poole and Parkstone Productions
A review by Linda KirkmanBournemouth Daily Echo

What with the TV search for a West End Nancy and Oliver, not to mention other very recent productions of the show, you might think we’d all be Olivered out – but not a bit of it.

Charles Dickens and Lionel Bart of course played the biggest part in ensuring that this heart-string-tugging musical will probably be around for ever, but it’s the individual companies who make or break it – and the hugely talented P&P couldn’t have made a better choice for their 90th birthday celebrations.

It occasionally felt like panto as a packed first-night house booed the evil Bill Sikes (Adrian Lane), quietly joined in the songs and clapped along, most noticeably in Fagin’s Reviewing the Situation. Alex Cook is a fine, avuncular Fagin who appeared not at all fazed by that unexpected and oft out-of-time accompaniment, and his real-life son Billy (sharing the role of Oliver) is clearly a chip off the old block.

There are excellent performances all round, with Gary Booth making a particularly strong impression as Mr Bumble, but it is Clairelouise Orchard who steals the show as an absolutely wonderful Nancy. And the icing on the cake of this first-class, superbly sung production is the sparkling, well-drilled chorus, both children and adults.

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