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Oliver! - John C. Kirk

Oct. 23rd, 2008

12:04 am - Oliver!

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Last month I went off to watch Oliver! at the theatre (an EHOS production). This is a musical based on the Charles Dickens novel "Oliver Twist"; I read the book when I was at school, but I haven't seen the play/film before. Honestly, it's not something I would have bothered to watch if it was on TV, so I mainly went along because one of my friends was in the cast (in a small but pivotal role).

I enjoyed it, and the cast did a good job; I was particularly impressed by the actress playing Nancy, since she has an excellent singing voice. When I watched "Seasons of Love" in the summer, I mentioned that I wasn't keen on the microphones at the front of the stage. There were mikes used in this performance, but they were far less obtrusive, and I think they could have got by without them if necessary.

As for the songs, I was familiar with a couple of them from a variety performance thing that I did in the Cubs (e.g. "Consider yourself..."), and they're quite cheerful and bouncy. I've also heard "Where is love" before, but I didn't know that it came from this musical, so it's nice to get some extra context for that.

In some ways, this is quite a dark story, and I think that the performance handled the tone quite well. For instance, it's been about 20 years since I read the novel, but as I recall it was quite explicit about the fact that Nancy was a prostitute. In the play, they hinted at that, e.g. by saying "There's a *cough* lady here to see you" or "I know what I am", but they didn't come right out with it. Similarly, the violence near the end was implied rather than explicit. I think that the actor playing Bill Sykes deserves a lot of the credit here: he stayed in character the whole time (even during the bows at the end), without turning into a pantomime villain.

Anyway, all in all it was a good night out, and I'm planning to go off and watch Allo Allo (their next performance).

On a vaguely related note, is anyone else interested in watching High School Musical 3 at the cinema? I realise this is a long-shot, but I suspect that I'm not quite in the target demographic (i.e. I'm not a teenage girl), so it would be less embarrassing with company.

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