Saturday, August 11, 2012

Oliver -Review- Customs House

The Customs House Theatre Summer School
Customs House
11th August 2012 

Oliver by Lionel Bart is one of my favourite films/theatre productions, so magical acting/stage presence and singing is needed to get the best out of this show.
Could David Ducasse and his merry band, pull out all of the stops today?

Oliver as I am sure I don't need to tell you is all about Master Twist, who's mother died not long after giving birth to him. Oliver was brought up under the 'care' of Mr Bumble the workhouse manager. Oliver for his cheek of 'wanting more' gets sold on, and so his adventure leading him on to the streets of London, ducking and diving begins.

It was lovely to see The Customs House virtually full, no doubt, beaming mothers, fathers, aunties and uncles coming along to support their own.
As soon as the curtain opened with the wonderful stage setting of the workhouse leading to the back alleys of the grimey and dangerous streets of the capital, I knew that this was going to be a fantastic performance.
Starting off with a good viewing of how the kids would sing/act on the night we had the wonderful 'Food Glorious Food' it is of course after this song that Oliver asks the most unlikeliest question, and gets shipped out.
On the streets of London where Mr Bumble is looking for the best price for the lad, just as the anxiety and fear on the face of Oliver lights up 'Boy For Sale tunefully makes an appearance. A great song well sung and acted.
Throughout the play Oliver comes across many folk trying to get their use out of him; Fagin the leader of the vagabonds, the nasty murderous Bill Sykes and the Artful Dodger all staking a claim for the new lad in the camp, and with all on stage it was so special to see not one thing out of place, the acting was second to none, and the singing was just how Oliver The Musical should be.
Laura Roberts playing Oliver was in fantastic voice, when she sang, alongside the flower and milk girls, 'Who Will Buy' it brought shivers to me...brilliantly acted too, a really good solid performance from her.
Danny Emmerson Ducasse was wonderful as Fagin, his pizazz shone through the entire night, especially on 'Reviewing The Situation' a wonderfully emotive piece, with the violin (Jayne Cuggy) in the background, it was eerily fab. Well well done.
The production team throughout must be so so proud of what myself and the enthusiastic crowd have witnessed. I have seen Oliver quite a few times in my reviewing stance, this one tops it all the way.
Go and see it, it will not disappoint!!

Oliver runs until 12th August

Michael Hunter

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