MAGNIFICENT! Writes David Heathcote. The opening night of Jayne Davison and Neil Broadbent’s production of Oliver! was a triumph and is set to have a brilliant week.
The opening chorus, Food Glorious Food, raised the roof and gave Longwood’s talented young performers a chance to shine, setting the standard very high indeed.
Longwood presented an excellent orchestra and a cast of our finest performers, all of whom excelled in their roles.
Richard Cook as Mr Bumble sang ‘Boy for Sale’ beautifully, particularly after a naughty number with Helen Woodhead as Widow Corney!
Martin Stead was dangerous as Bill Sykes and Paul Bennett deliciously sinister as Mr Sowerberry.
In the title role, Thomas Burley (double cast with Connor Pickles) was endearing and sang a heart-warming ‘Where is Love’.
James Buckley was vibrant as Artful Dodger. In his opening number, Consider Yourself, James lit up the stage with his winning character, superb dancing and perfect stagecraft. An exciting professional in the making.
Holly Comber-Moccia was stunning . She took the stage with all the confidence that Nancy exudes and left this first night audience spellbound with her emotionally charged ‘As Long as he Needs Me’. Neil Broadbent’s Fagin was monumental.
Each subtle, stylish and well-crafted move showed his band of young pick-pockets why he is king of his ‘art’.
Vocally, too, Broadbent has mastered the role with his trademark perfection.
This wonderful production is not to be missed and is a fitting tribute to Tom Mair on his retirement as president after 44 years of dedication to the Society.