New comer on the musical theatre block, Redcliffe Musical Theatre presented the classic production of Oliver! at the Redcliffe Cultural Centre.

 Presented by: Redcliffe Musical TheatreVenue Redcliffe Cultural Centre (Brisbane) Sunday, August 21, 2011  New comer on the musical theatre block, Redcliffe Musical Theatre presented the classic production of Oliver! at the Redcliffe Cultural Centre. Based on the Charles Dickens novel, set in the 1850’s in London, Oliver! tells a tale about an orphan who gets caught up with a gang of young pick-pocketers, headed by the father-figure Fagin of what could be considered as an underground orphanage for the wayward. Astutely pointed out by a kids music theatre connoisseur (my niece), “It’s just like Annie… but with boys”. Oliver! is a family friendly show that has you humming the many catchy tunes after you leave, including “Food Glorious Food”, “Consider Yourself”, and “Gotta Pick a Pocket or Two”. What stood out most in this production (apart from the many talented children who made up the chorus of orphans), was the lead cast. Olivia Warren as Nancy was a pleasure to watch and listen to. You could hear the beautiful tone of her voice even with a cockney accent. She had a good stage presence and commanded attention with ease whenever she was on stage. Her acting was very natural and displayed a mature grasp of a character with tortured but resolute strength. Sara Reynolds was perfectly cast in the role of Widow Cornwell and a special mention goes to Jai Jackson who played Oliver. The role is such a big ask for someone so young. He really shone in the moments where he got riled up and really got into character with an explosion of energy. Aran Acaraglu who played the Artful Dodger is to be commended for his onstage professionalism, talent, and confidence beyond his years. He looked very comfortable on the stage and did a fantastic job at playing the cheeky right-hand man of Fagin. My favourite of the night however was the wiley but funny and very likeable Fagin played by Peter wright. I loved his quirkly little dance moves with the cane and the erratic energy in his character’s physicalisation. He also showed the right emotional balance in his conflict between his current lot and turning over a new leaf.  His costuming was well put together and I especially loved his green coat. I also noticed many of the chorus changed several times during the show so well done to the costume department for accomplishing such a mammoth task. The sound and lighting did a great job. It’s unfortunate that for the most part, sound never gets any credit when they do a good job and the only time you notice the sound is when it’s bad. And a lot of the time, especially early in the season, there are usually issues. So I thought I’d point out that the sound was actually really good this time!The set construction was clever with a multi-purpose rotating piece of set and levels built into the set, which is always visually interesting.Overall, Oliver! was a fun night out and a job well done by the Redcliffe Musical Theatre society. Season Closed 

Bobbi-Lea Dionysius

Bobbi-Lea is AussieTheatre.com's QLD Co-ordinator, writer, reviewer, and reporter. She is also an actor, presenter, and theatre/film producer for Drama Queen Productions in Brisbane. Bobbi-Lea holds a Degree in Music Theatre as well as a Degree in Film & TV, and is currently doing her Masters in Screen Production.

Bobbi-Lea Dionysius

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