Lionel Bart's Oliver! has lost none of its original charm and Walsall Operatic Society delivered an accomplished performance of this theatrical classic on the Lichfield Garrick stage.
Ably and confidently taking on the title role was the sweet and endearing Thomas Fletcher. With a lovely voice to match, beautifully showcased in Where Is Love, I'm sure he has a bright future ahead of him. He was matched well with the cheeky Artful Dodger, Madeley Wakelin, who held his own in the large ensemble as they broke into Consider Yourself.
Superb cameo performances came from Steph Coleman as a vocally pleasing Widow Corney, Adam Lacey as the bullish Bill Sykes and Simon Docherty made for a brilliant Mr Sowerberry.
However it was Lucy Follows's Nancy and Craig Smith's Fagin that shone from the adult ensemble. With exceptional acting and characterful performances, they were both a joy to watch on stage. Particular highlights included It's A Fine Life, As Long As He Needs Me and Reviewing The Situation.
The children's ensemble were one of the most impressive I have seen, with a special mention to Matthew Sykes who stood out in the ensemble numbers. Their character acting was spot on in Food Glorious Food and it is the hard work of director Richard Poynton and the rest of the creative team who have made this show one not to miss.
With fabulous dancing and music courtesy of Charlotte Mills and MD Ian Room, the entire cast should be utterly proud with what they have achieved.
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