Review: Oliver!

PUBLISHED: 11:04 28 January 2013 | UPDATED: 11:04 28 January 2013

Oliver! Photo: Alastair Muir

Oliver! Photo: Alastair Muir


OLIVER, filled with big, well-known lyrical numbers, has something for everyone – and left us feeling please sir, we want some MORE.

The musical takes the audience on Oliver’s journey from an orphan to the grandson of a well-to-do gentleman through a myriad of creative scene changing, and settings accompanied by a backdrop of well-known and loved songs.

From the first number in the show – Food, Glorious Food to Consider Yourself and toe-tapping Oom-Pah-Pah through to Who Will Buy it is obvious why this show has survived 50 years.

Every character in this production evoked sadness and fear or elation, joy and love on an emotional rollercoaster atmosphere, which sometimes slipped into darker undertones.

The costumes, scenery, choreography and lighting were brilliant.

I loved Neil Morrisey’s Fagin – always the kingpin of the show – he was almost made for the part - funny, entertaining with a few touches of glorious slap-stick and a great song and dance talent!

Choice big musical numbers allowed Samantha Barks (Nancy) to showcase her beautiful voice and the talents of the accompanying orchestra.

Another favourite was Iain Fletcher’s Bill Sykes. His character’s evil personality oozed a quiet menace without going over the top and he received the ultimate audience commendation of pantomime-style baddy hissing for his applause.

But, for me, the youngsters led by Oliver and the Artful Dodger were the show’s leading lights.

Oliver’s more timid modest character contrasted with the Dodger’s bold one, strutting around with a cheeky charm we have come to expect in the character.

The two comic pairings in Mr and Mrs Sowberry and the light relief of Mr and Widow Corney provided a diversion from the sometimes more shocking and sombre scenes.

The Hippodrome has a host of great shows coming up … but this one will take some beating.

Tickets for the show, priced £17.50-54.50, are available via

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