2008 - Oliver!


The popular musical ‘Oliver’ was a resounding success during a week of sell-out performances in the village of Lavant.

Featuring a cast of more than 50, including new as well as existing members of ‘the Players’, the production was skillfully masterminded by director and choreographer Kathryn and her team. ‘Oliver’ was Kathryn’s seventh production for the Players and her breadth of experience in casting and producing, combined with the musical direction of Paula, was evident in this professional and enchanting production.

‘Oliver was chosen because we knew it would appeal to a wide audience of both children and adults and would provide an opportunity for an infusion of new talent’. ‘The response from local children and from both new and existing Players’ members has put a real buzz into the show’.

Kathryn’s previous productions for Lavant Players include Peter Pan, ‘Honk’, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man and Aladdin. However, Oliver involved the largest number of children ever to have worked with the group. Two sets of children (Fagin’s Gang), and two ‘Olivers’ rehearsed together for five months and took part in alternate performances during the week.

Showgoers were treated to an exceptional stage set, which saw the Lavant Memorial Hall realistically transformed into Victorian London and Fagin’s den. The precise attention to detail made this production special – from the costumes, strong musical talent of the lead parts and even the presence of a real-life ‘Bullseye’ alongside his menacing master, Bill Sykes.

The show featured outstanding performances from the lead characters. The angelic ‘Olivers’ performed tear-jerking renditions of ‘Where is love’? and ‘I’d do anything’.. The children, including a cheeky Artful Dodger, were well rehearsed and confidently displayed their newly-acquired pick-pocketing skills as well as their musical ability.

The animated and lively chorus of ‘Londoners’ did not disappoint – by regularly involving the audience one felt part of the drama enfolding as the ensemble enthusiastically belted out favourites including ‘Oom-Paa- Paa’ and ‘Consider yourself’. Mr Bumble and Widow Corney's cheeky rendition of ‘I shall scream’ was a scene no one will forget.

The Chairman of the Players comments, ‘This was Lavant Players’ biggest and best production yet. We hope to build on this success next year and maintain the high standard of performance'.