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Theatre review: Oliver! @ Lichfield Garrick

Congratulations to everyone at Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre for presenting us with yet another fabulous night out.

I remember the company’s 2003 production of Oliver! – their first in the new Garrick – it was brilliant, and this new production equalled it. There seemed to be quite a few new young performers in this huge cast, which bodes very well for the future.

Oliver! is one of those shows you never get tired of seeing. This one, particularly, seemed to provide much more comedy than previous productions I’ve seen.

Lewis Sanders and Georgina Jones were a great comic coupling in their roles of Widow Corney and Mr Bumble – great singing voices too. Gus Wade’s Oliver was wonderful. Again a young actor destined for better things, I feel. Chris Buckle shone as the Artful Dodger with a spotless and very energetic performance. Amy Mallaband was also good as Nancy playing opposite the deep-voiced Mark Johnson as Bill Sykes.

Star of the show for me was Romayne Sturridge as Fagin – what a performance! Beautifully-timed mannerisms and memorable facial expressions brought this wonderful character to life. Good to see Romayne in a lead role.

There were many fine performances and such a large cast it’s not possible to mention everyone. Suffice it to say the show was a great team effort and thoroughly enjoyable.

There were some great dance routines under the guidance of choreographer Jemma Tiso and her assistant Natalie Haslam – not an easy job with such a big cast.

Congratulations to director Julie Mallaband and Musical Director Oliver Rowe and to a super set of musicians in the band. We all look forward to future productions.

Oliver! runs at the Garrick until Saturday (April 9). For tickets call the box office on 01543 412121.

Ann Mayo

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