‘Oliver!’ leaves audience in Kilmington wanting more


‘PLEASE Sir, I want some more’ is the immortal line from Charles Dickens’ iconic novel ‘Oliver Twist’ and a similar sentiment was felt by audience members at the recent production of Lionel Bart’s musical adaptation ‘Oliver!’, by the Young STAGs theatre group at Kilmington Village Hall.

The recent production came 10 years after the Young STAGs first distinguished themselves with this very show and the cast featured many familiar faces and was also delighted to add several new ones.

Levi Coleman was cast as the titular Oliver and certainly held his own against more seasoned performers, handling his solos brilliantly and showing a talent for comedy timing.

Oliver’s mentor, The Artful Dodger was played by Woodroffe School student Tom Miller, who is becoming a regular face on the amateur dramatic scene, and the cheeky chappie certainly echoed the late great Jack Wild from the 1968 film in his performance.

In mercurial form once again was Tucker Stevens as Fagin, who commanded the stage like the seasoned performer he is, capturing the attention of the audience from the moment he crept on stage.

Beverley Reed was heart-breaking as Nancy, arguably one of the more tragic characters in musical theatre, was able to flick from the rousing number of ‘Oompah-Pah’ to the stirring ‘As Long as He Needs Me’ with great aplomb. Playing against Beverley was Mike Dowling’s Bill Sykes, who silenced the crowd and his fellow performers as he intimidated audience members with ‘My Name’.

The main five cast members were ably supported by a strong cast including the Young STAGs, who were all excellent as they switched between playing the workhouse children, Fagin’s gang and street criers.

Congratulations must go to director Anna Crabbe who used the unusual shape of Kilmington Village Hall brilliantly, having characters constantly walking through the audience, which helped the show to flow seamlessly.

A really enjoyable show and congratulations to everyone involved, especially the youngsters making their debut.

Cast: Levi Coleman – Oliver Twist; John Birch – Mr Bumble; Eileen Birch – Widow Corney; Finn Quincy – Noah Claypole; David Ingles – Mr Sowerberry/; Louise Quincy – Mrs Sowerberry/ Mrs Bedwin; Abigail Reed – Charlotte; Tom Miller – The Artful Dodger; Tucker Stevens – Fagin; Beverley Reed – Nancy; Gaye Atkinson – Bet/Annie; Caroline Nunns – Old Sally; Mike Dowling – Bill Sykes; Nigel Freathy – Mr Brownlow; Ian Craig – Dr Grimwig/Bow Street Runner – Ian Craig; Workhouse Children, Fagin’s Gang and Street Criers – Nieevie Dunham, William Milmer, Maisie Smith, Clara Hollis, Shine Gobu, Sanjay Gobu, Hermione Heasman, Maisie Trott, Lola Evans and Abigail Reed.

Production Team: Director – Anna Crabbe; Piano – Peter Milmer; Flue – Annette Freathy; Drums Gordon Hughes; Cast Director – Heather White; Stage Manager – Bob Evans, assisted by Judith Evans, Seb Cope, Simon Ford, Anne Dowling and David Woodward; Set Design – Robert Crabbe and John Birch; Wardrobe – Katie Vining; Properties – David and Judith Evans; Lighting – David Baxendale and Peter Ball; Make Up – Diane Seward; Prompt – Susan Moore; Construction – Bob Evans; Publicity Design – Simon Ford; Photography Maureen Lane; Publicity – David Evans; Front of House Tim Love and helpers.

Honiton, Ottery St Mary, Chard & Ilminster Reporter | After studying for his NCTJ in Bournemouth, Peter started with the paper in June 2015 on a freelance basis, now permanently based in East Devon covering community and council news.