If the audience’s reaction this evening is anything to go by then QMTS have brought this classic show back to life with energy and enthusiasm this week at The Core.
An impressive (if a little bulky) set, colourful costumes and some imaginative choreography from Stacey Cornes, in the limited space the company had, all added to a great evening’s entertainment.
The young people in the cast opened the show with a rousing rendition of Food Glorious Food and they were clearly enjoying themselves from the start. A well-drilled chorus brought life to the wonderful musical numbers in the show such as Who Will Buy? and Oom-Pah-Pah. Their singing was polished with some impressive harmonies and the pictures that Director Michelle Faruggia (Director) created on the stage were lovely to see.
The company had a great line-up of principals and it is always good to see that there is a wealth of talent within the chorus to allow several of the cast to have solos and cameo roles and to perform these with confidence and professionalism.
Oliver (Billy Stait) grew in confidence throughout the evening and showed real emotion throughout. He won the audience over with his rendition of Where is Love. He worked well with Leah Haddock as Dodger.
Gareth Knipe portrayed a thoughtful and rather melancholy Fagin and one of the highlights of the show was his performance of Reviewing the Situation. Whilst, Mr Bumble (Roy Vears) and Widow Corney (Sharone Williams) brought the humour of their scenes out well with clear and confident singing voices.
Paul Stait owned the stage as Bill Sykes from the moment he entered and had the audience gasping in shock at his treatment of Nancy. The role of Nancy was portrayed wonderfully by Emily Fouracre. Her rendition of As Long As He Needs Me brought the house down, and rightly so. She was also ably supported by Mary Johns as Bet. Other strong supporting performances came from Erik Olsen and Karina Harris as Mr and Mrs Sowerberry, being creepy enough to represent the undertakers of old London Town and yet bringing out the humour of their song That’s Your Funeral well.
If I had any slight criticisms, it would be that the lighting relied too heavily on follow-spots and was often distracting from the performances of the principals’ songs – a general lighting state would be more effective and allow us to concentrate on the performers themselves. I would also like to see a little more pace in the more dialogue-heavy scenes to move the story on and keep the momentum of what otherwise was a lively and colourful show.
Special mention should go to Steve Greenway (Musical Director) and his wonderful orchestra who made a great sound and maintained a good balance with the singers throughout.
All in all, a show for the company and the dedicated production team to be proud of!
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