As the curtain came down on the opening night of Oliver at the Millennium Forum, there was no doubting what the audience wanted - more!
Lionel Bart’s classic musical was brought vividly to life by the Millennium Forum Youth Productions and within minutes you had forgotten that these actors are all under the age of 20.
The opening number of ‘Food, Glorious Food’ set the tone for what was a night of musical magic.
The set featuring London Bridge was put to excellent use as the drama moved seamlessly through the orphanage scenes, to Fagin’s hideout and Mr Brownlow’s posh digs in London.
This cast of 50 gave it their all.
Special mention for Zoe Kyte who gave a commanding and believable performance of the little known character of Mrs. Sowerberry. This girl is going places.
Sioda McKay was born to play Oliver. There wasn’t a note out of place as he continuously belted out classics such as ‘Where is Love’ and ‘Who will Buy?’
Una Morrison brought the character of Nancy to life with a feistyness this role requires. Her rendition of ‘It’s a Fine Life’ was one of my highlights. Una got the accent down to a tee. But whoever decided to put Nancy in a bright red dress might want to rethink it.
Audience favourite Dodger played by Malachy Kitson played a blinder last night. His solos of Consider Yourself and I’d Do Anything were fantastic.
Baddie Bill Sykes played by Robert Kelly had a great stage presence showing the darker side of life living on the wrong side of the law in London. I particularly liked the scenes with him, Nancy and Fagin.
It was a night full of triumphs for the Millennium Forum Youth Productions.
But it was Lucas Levy who stole the show.
It’s hard to believe a young man of 19 can pull off such a convincing role as creepy old man Fagin.
From the moment he stepped on from the wings, Lucas owned the stage. The costume was spot on, the character was well interpreted, comic timing accurate, and the musicanship, perfect.
I loved ‘Reviewing the Situation’ with the violin solos separating each verse. I’d go again, just to hear him sing that song. Well done Lucas.
Oliver plays at the Millennium Forum tonight and Saturday night.
Tickets are now available from the Box Office. Telephone 71 264455 or visit www.millenniumforum.co.uk for bookings.