12-17 July 2016
Reviewed by Clair Bellamy
On Thursday the 14 July, I attended a performance of “Oliver” staged by the Royal & Derngate Youth Theatre and Young Company.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening out, watching a stunning cast of youngsters ranging from 8 to 20 years old. I can honestly say they did as good a job of performing as some seasoned professionals I have seen.
The story of Oliver is very well known and loved classic by Charles Dickens, which has been adapted for the stage by the talented Lionel Bart. A young orphan, Oliver Twist, is forced to leave the workhouse when he dares to ask for more, and ends up in a disreputable gang of thieves and thugs, but comes good when he finds his family in a kind twist of fate. The catchy and well-loved songs and characters make you smile, cry, laugh and despair.
Every part was cast perfectly. Young Curtis Sloan playing Oliver showed his lovely voice and a talent that is wonderful for his age. Luke Nunn was a very funny Fagin who has perfect comedic timing and a good range of singing voice. Ryan Mclean made a very imposing Mr Bumble the Beadle with a great amount of power to his singing voice and real stage presence. Owen Howard was a very likable Artful Dodger showing the cleverness and kind side to the character and he could move and dance with real control. Lauren Moody made a spectacular Nancy she showed a great deal of stage presence and held the different moods perfectly, portraying just what was needed in each scene and has a beautiful strong voice. All of the cast were amazing and I can see some real talent coming up through the supporting roles too. Definitely a group of young people to watch in the future!
A great deal of respect and praise should also be given to all the backstage crew, directors and production team. Without Youth Theatre there would not be the stepping stones for talented young people to make a start in a career in acting.
Overall this show left me feeling very impressed and know that the future of theatre is going to be great.
Tickets cost from £6 to £14 (booking fees may apply).
Oliver! is at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton until 17 July 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01604 624811.
Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811