Oliver! Review, May 2019 - NODA

Oliver! with music, lyrics and book by Lionel Bart and based on the novel by Charles Dickens, was a successful film in the 60s and this stage production is stuffed full of all the well-known songs and characters that made the film such a success. From the opening ‘Food, Glorious Food’ to the great finale, the entire evening was full of memorable performances from this fine, talented ensemble.

The stage design which was dual level giving the impression of a bridge, combined with the lighting design helped to create the appearance of various settings: the orphanage, street scenes, the undertaker’s Parlour - was well conceived and of high quality. There was minimal disruption during the scene changes, sometimes during songs.

The costumes were in keeping with the period. There was great attention to detail and the costumes were well balanced. The lighting was effective and well controlled throughout. The sound was excellent with voices clear and blended well with the live music.

Kirsty Kingham as Nancy and Company performing Oom Pah, Pah

Kirsty Kingham as Nancy and Company performing Oom Pah, Pah

Director Liz Ilett is to be congratulated on directorial debut with this production. The cast were all on top form with some memorable performances, notably David Izzo as Fagin and Kirsty Kingham was a dynamite Nancy. This was an evening of classic songs, imaginative choreography and stellar performances, convincing accents and terrific singing which ended with a big round of applause from the appreciative audience. This was musical theatre at its best and lived up to the previous high quality shows we expect from BATS.

Chris Horton
National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) South East Region, District 14 Representative

9 to 5 - Dates and information for pre-audition rehearsals and auditions

If you would like to join us to perform in our November production of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical, below are the key dates that you will need to be available for.

9to5 -the-musical-logo

Welcome talk
Wednesday 5th June: 19:45 – 22:00 hrs
Venue: Christ Church, Reading Road, Chineham, RG4 8LT

Pre-audition workshops

Monday 10th June: 19:30 – 22:00 hrs
Wednesday 12th June: 19:45 – 22:00 hrs
Monday 17th June: 19:30 – 22:00 hrs
Wednesday 19th June: 19:45 – 22:00 hrs
Venue: Christ Church, Reading Road, Chineham, RG4 8LT

Sunday 23rd June 2019: 10:00 – 18:00 hrs (Dance until 12 noon)
Venue: Market Chambers, town centre Basingstoke

Director setting dates
In addition to the director setting dates (below), cast will generally be called for rehearsal every Monday and Wednesday evening.

Venue: Christ Church, Reading Road, Chineham, RG4 8LT

Monday 24th June: First read through of the script
Sunday 14th – Thursday 18th July: Director setting (act 1)
Sunday 15th September – Thursday 19th September: Director setting (act 2)
Saturday 19th October: Cast show promotion at Waitrose and The Malls
Monday 21st October: Director setting (Run of act 1 + notes)
Wednesday 23rd October: Director setting (Run of act 2 + notes)
Monday 11th November: Director setting (Run of show + notes)
Thursday 14th November: Costume Call
Friday 15th November: Run of show in costume

Sunday 17th November: Band call and technical rehearsal (Haymarket Theatre)
Monday 18th November: Dress rehearsal (Haymarket Theatre)
Tuesday 19th – Saturday 23rd November: Performances (including Saturday matinee) (Haymarket Theatre)

We chat to Liz Ilett - our Director for Oliver!

“I want audiences to laugh, I want audiences to cry, I want them to believe in the story.”

That’s Liz Ilett’s aim in bringing Oliver! to the Haymarket stage for BATS. Directing the show has been a long-held ambition for Liz, who’s been involved with the Society for more than 30 years. So what’s special about this particular show?

“It’s a musical that has soul and a ‘real’ story. It’s not ‘pretty pretty’, it’s quite grim at times. It’s very much an actor’s musical, and we’re trying to delve deep into the characters and bring out the drama of Oliver’s situation.”

Those characters include iconic roles like Fagin (played by David Izzo), who leads a gang of boy pickpockets, the caring Nancy (played by Kirsty Kingham) and the terrifying Bill Sikes (played by Ali Bagshaw).

Several weeks into rehearsals Liz says she’s “very pleased” with how it’s all going.

Liz performing in  Sister Act, May 2015 , as Sister Mary Lazarus

Liz performing in Sister Act, May 2015, as Sister Mary Lazarus

“It’s a really strong line up of principal characters. The boys playing Oliver and the Artful Dodger are superb. We have two teams of children playing the boys and girls in the workhouse and Fagin’s gang, and some have never been on stage before. The youngest is just eight years old. Repetition is really important to help them learn their scenes and songs.”

Memorable moments in the show include Oliver asking for more gruel, the sinister relationship between Nancy and Bill Sikes, and of course uplifting musical numbers like Consider Yourself, Who Will Buy, It’s A Fine Life and Oom-Pa-Pa.

Liz hopes youngsters seeing Oliver! for the first time this May, will be as gripped by it as she was when she first saw the film as a child.

“Oliver! caught my imagination then – and it never let go.”

Oliver! runs at the Haymarket from Wed 8 - Sat 18 May. Performances at 7.30pm, with Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Buy tickets online.

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