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Review: Oliver!, The Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, September 1

PUBLISHED: 13:36 02 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:36 02 September 2018

Joss Peralta as the Artful Dodger, Nick Murray Brown as Fagin and Daniel Hunt as Oliver in the Marina and Seagull theatres production of Oliver Picture: CHARLIE KETCHEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Joss Peralta as the Artful Dodger, Nick Murray Brown as Fagin and Daniel Hunt as Oliver in the Marina and Seagull theatres production of Oliver Picture: CHARLIE KETCHEN PHOTOGRAPHY

CHARLIE KETCHEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Cards on the table, Oliver is my second least favourite musical ever; but if anybody could convert me it’s John Hales, who directed the best version of Little Shop of Horrors I’ve seen.

The Marina and Seagull theatres in Lowestoft stage Oliver, their first collaboration together Picture: CHARLIE KETCHEN PHOTOGRAPHYThe Marina and Seagull theatres in Lowestoft stage Oliver, their first collaboration together Picture: CHARLIE KETCHEN PHOTOGRAPHY

It was the first collaboration between the Marina and The Seagull theatres with the cast and backstage crew made up of members of the Seagull Rep, the Lowestoft Players and many other community groups. For some, it was their first show while others have been performing for more than 50 years.

That said, it came together pretty well. Lionel Bart’s musical was a smart choice first time out. Everybody knows it and there are, admittedly, some cracking numbers.

Things started strongly, with a rollicking version of Food Glorious Food by the ensemble. Oom-Pah-Pah and As Long as He Needs Me, both driven by the excellent Michelle Long as Nancy, also stood out.

I liked the darker and more risque tones. I also liked how immersive the production was, with the cast making great use of the space. I’d have liked to have seen the orchestra, front and centre, in costume too.

Joss Peralta as the Artful Dodger, Nick Murray Brown as Fagin, Daniel Hunt as Oliver; Michelle Long as Nancy, Vincent Shilito as Bill Sykes and Nora as Bullseye Picture: CHARLIE KETCHEN PHOTOGRAPHYJoss Peralta as the Artful Dodger, Nick Murray Brown as Fagin, Daniel Hunt as Oliver; Michelle Long as Nancy, Vincent Shilito as Bill Sykes and Nora as Bullseye Picture: CHARLIE KETCHEN PHOTOGRAPHY

The cast clearly had fun, which spread to the audience who gave them not one but two standing ovations. I remain sadly unswayed but heard many people humming their favourite songs on the way out, clearly wanting more.

The production was pert of Making Waves Together, a project led by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Waveney District Council and funded by the Great Places Scheme. The idea is communities and organisations work together to boost the cultural offering and drive cultural re-imagination as a way of supporting success in the seaside towns. The show also supported Lowestoft Food Bank, a very worthy cause.

Hopefully this will be an annual team-up and I look forward to next year, but please not Annie.

Other Lowestoft events

Mon, 14:50

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at Potters Resort as the Christmas Spectacular returns for 2018.

Mon, 14:36

The name of Italian conductor Michele Mariotti is very familiar in prestigious European opera houses, and it was a great privilege for such an internationally-renowned musician to come to Lowestoft.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The magic of Las Vegas will hit Lowestoft next month as the Strictly Theatre Company return to The Seagull Theatre in Pakefield.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A masterpiece of a play, brilliant music, fundraising and lots of fun will be showcased at the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield.

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