Lionel Bart’s Oliver! was performed at Nottingham Arts Theatre from the 21st to 25th February. Impact’s Hayley Lawson reviews.
The musical Oliver! is based on the Dickens novel Oliver Twist – a touching tale of a young orphan in Victorian England. He works his way from a workhouse in the north of London and embarks on a life of crime in his search for a loving family.
Brown’s voice was mesmerising and he took to the stage with confidence and induced pathos
For me, this musical was excellently cast. Some standout choices included Abby Wells, who took on the role of Nancy, portraying intense emotion in songs like As Long as He Needs Me. There was also the charismatic Shantanu Bhumbra as Fagin and the jarring JJ Gill starring as the musical’s villain, Bill Sikes. Particularly notable for me was Jamie Adlan, who played the Artful Dodger in an animated manner – this young boy truly rose the mood whenever he walked on stage and created a thrilling performance. Elizabeth Kenny as Nipper also delivered an astonishing characterisation; she possessed such an impressive and large voice for a very small person.
Further to this was the heart melting Liam Brown as Oliver, the titular character of this desolate musical. Brown’s voice was mesmerising and he took to the stage with confidence and induced pathos with such success that it brought a tear to my eye. Brown was just one member of a cast dominated by young actors who deserve the upmost appreciation and respect for their performance.
The ensemble in Oliver! is a crucial part of the show, as they take on the roles of members of the workhouse, Fagin’s gang, and general passers-by in the streets of England. The incredible cast remained in character for the entirety of the show, bringing the stage to life in a highly impressive way for an amateur production, making it feel professional. I can comfortably say that after seeing Oliver! I would be more than happy to see another production of the same cast!
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article image courtesy of @nottinghamartstheatre via Instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
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