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‘Oliver’ @ ARC, Stockton Arts Centre

December 20, 2017 11:01 am

A Stockton Riverside College production

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Review by Jowita Krasik 


This was my first time seeing Oliver, despite it being one of the world’s most well known musicals. Clearly, almost every other member of the audience, young and old, were familiar with it. Although there were some parts of the performance that could have been made better, I do believe the production did the musical justice.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the performance was the choreography. The ensemble was truly using the entire theatre space. The cast was running, dancing, and at some points interacting with the audience. This unusual arrangement was made possible by the performance space itself. The choreographer, Daniel Donaldson Todd, truly entranced the audience with the choreography, and with such a large cast in a small theatre, this was impressive.

It was also lovely to see the inclusion of so many younger cast members. It made the performance feel authentic and real, as well as professional. The kids were truly charming and played their parts very well.

One of the most interesting casting choices was that of Dodger, who was played by Emily O’Connelly, which surprised me. The actress did a great job of portraying the Artful Dodger and these scenes were the most memorable parts of the show for me.

The set was also very well designed; it was quite simple, but it effectively accommodated the large cast. We were also overlooking the performance from a balcony, which added another layer to the visual aesthetic of the show.

One slightly less impressive aspect of the performance was the vocals. Despite the main cast having microphones on at all times, it was sometimes difficult to make out what the actors were singing. I guess this would be less of a problem for those who know the musical well, but for someone less familiar with it, it did become a little strenuous trying to decipher the words.

Overall, I would recommend this show to everyone; it was a lovely production and a lovely night.


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