Music and lyrics by Lionel Bart, Johnny Green, Eric Rogers and Onna White Based on the book by Charles Dickens
Orphaned at birth and left to starve in a bleak Northern workhouse…Bullied and beaten in a grim Undertaker’s shop…Forced to flee to the unwelcoming streets of Victorian London…Befriended by a cheeky, street ruffian…Enrolled into a gang of thieves and pick-pockets…Forced into working for a dangerous criminal…Offered a glimpse of hope from a unlikely source…Rescued from a life of crime…Welcomed into the familial warmth of a kindly benefactor with the promise of a better future.
Taylorian invited you to come along with Oliver Twist on his epic, roller coaster journey, in a spectacular new production of the ground-breaking musical of Dickens’s classic novel.
Celebrating 10 years of bringing Summer musicals to the Gaiety, Taylorian followed it’s quadruple offering of Andrew Lloyd Weber hit musicals with an innovative new take on, perhaps, the best known British musical of all time.
The greatly loved classic that is Lionel Bart’s fabulous family feast: Oliver! Bart’s adaptation of this dark tale of social injustice and why crime doesn’t pay, is dramatically astute, and cleverly plays with the contrasts of light and dark to evoke the moral dilemma of Charles Dickens’s 19th-century London.
Dazzling and colourful with enough hit tunes to fill a career let alone a show, Bart loses none of Dickens’s knack for razor-sharp characterisation with his popular version of the tale. With sumptuous new staging designed specifically for this production and dazzling period costumes; innovative choreography and Victorian story telling at it’s finest; Oliver! was the family theatrical event of the year.
Taylorian Productions wanted to stage a memorable show as they celebrate their 10th anniversary. And with a huge wealth of talent, imaginative direction and impressive professional sets and costumes Oliver! truly will be remembered for all of the right reasons. The show, directed by John Cumberlidge and produced by Matt James, features a cast of 68 performers, including 31 juniors and even a rescue dog from Ard Jerkyll. Ben Heath made for a very believable Fagin, and his rendition of ‘You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two’ was one of the stand-out moments for me. Georgia Maddocks was a vocal powerhouse as Nancy – wow, can she deliver! And Damian Kneale relished his role as the dark and fearsome Bill Sykes. The role of orphan boy Oliver is being shared by Joe Locke and William Shooter. And Oliver Sykes and Alex Reynolds alternate playing the Artful Dodger.
Everyone that I’ve spoken to about the show has loved it – and been hugely impressed by the professionalism, enthusiasm and skill displayed by all of the young principals. It was Joe and Oliver’s turn on the Gaiety Theatre stage the night that I watched. Joe made it easy for the audience to root for him, and we felt part of his emotional journey from escaping to the Victorian workhouse, to being part of a gang of thieves and pickpockets, and then his eventual rescue from a life of crime. Oliver was a captivating Artful Dodger and I left the theatre humming one of the show’s most iconic songs, ‘Consider Yourself’. If you haven’t already, grab yourself a ticket to see Taylorian’s show before it is too late! – Isle of Man Today