My introduction to the marvellous world of Lichfield Musical Youth Theatre began some years ago with another production of Oliver that quite simply blew me away.
Going backstage afterwards I was surprised to see what appeared to be little children running around playing. Who were they, I wondered. They turned out to be the cast offstage.
But on it, they were mature performers – and I’ve never forgotten this tribute to the power of theatre.
Lichfield Musical Youth Theatre is a force to be reckoned with which I say deserves national recognition.
This new reworking of Lionel Bart’s classic was similarly magical, making the very most of the cathedral’s marvellous space and acoustics.
The orchestra as always was simply marvellous, in fact better than ever, but somehow invisible. Myself and others spent some time wondering where they were hidden away. It turned out they were across the road in the refectory and beaming the spectacular sound in.
I call this high-tech wizardry of an unusual degree proving LMYT are always coming up with something new and amazing in an act that puts many more ‘professional’ outfits to shame.
In a marvellous cast too numerous to do full justice to in a brief review, I must mention the feisty Nate Wallace as Oliver, Louis Caldwell as an incredibly convincing Fagin, the marvellous Grace Willis as Nancy and the truly remarkable James Padley as a horribly sophisticated and convincing Artful Dodger.
Lichfield Musical Youth Theatre and all who sail in her, I salute you. You’ve done it again.
Oliver runs in Lichfield Cathedral until 4th May.