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REVIEW: Oliver at Theatre Royal Windsor

Victoria Higton

REVIEW: Oliver at Windsor Theatre Royal

From beginning to end, Oliver! was packed full of adrenalin-fuelled energy from a cast of super talented performers,  that guarantees to leave its audiences, just like little Oliver Twist,  asking for more.

You’ll be delighted with familiar songs such as ‘Food glorious Food’ Consider Yourself, You’ve got to pick a pocket or Two, Oom-Pah-Pah, Where is love’ all fabulously performed under the musical direction of Kevin Oliver-Jones with a skilled live band.   Nancy’s (Ellie Ulrich) ‘As long as he needs me’,  Fagin’s  (Michael Workman) Reviewing the Situation’ and The Artful Dodger’s  (9 year old  Seb Gratwick) Consider Yourself being the most memorable.  The chorus dances and songs were all expertly choreographed (Ashley Luke Lloyd) . 

This production is a community project, open to anyone who wants ‘the chance to perform in a show that gives them an opportunity to shine.’  And every single cast member shone, both youngsters and adults alike.   The sheer fun they were having on that stage radiated throughout the audience. 

The young actors all remained in character throughout this popular musical, oozing with buoyancy, none missing a cue and each, word perfect.    Oliver Twist, played by 12 year old Owen Barkla, looked the part and his sweet singing melted your heart.  The Artful Dodger was the perfect cheeky chappie , a remarkable, memorable performance for such a youngster.  He was surrounded by other talented kids who were dedicated to picking the odd pocket or two.  His two mates Charlie Bates (11 year old Ronnie Glover) and Mackenzie Foxcroft delivered their lines with flair and confidence. 

Then there were the adults, who needed to be on their toes to match such enthusiastic young actors.  The adult ensemble was spirited with some superb routines.  Nancy’s sidekicks gave gifted performances, namely Bet (15 year old Maddy Daly).

Fagin can, and does, hold the stage alone and skillfully reviews many situations.  His performance was remarkable.  Mr. Bumble’s (David Edwards) Boy For Sale was beautifully sung and Nancy’s entire performance was flawless and her voice, utterly stunning.

A community project?  Surely  not.  This was a professional piece of excellence under the superb direction of Carole Todd.  What an opportunity for everyone involved to perform in this stunning theatre.

If you go and watch this performance, consider yourself very fortunate indeed.  Yes, no wonder it leaves us asking for more. 

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