Category Archives: 2012

REVIEW: OLIVER!

Curve Community Productions presents a cast of over 65 young performers from across Leicester and Leicestershire, bringing the much-loved musical Oliver! to life in their own style (31 July – 12 August).

By Young Marketing Forum member, Priya

On Tuesday I was delighted to be invited to see Oliver!, the story of an orphan who runs away to join a gang of pickpockets in London, at Curve theatre in Leicester and I took my sister along with me because she loves the classic tale as much as I do.

Opening scene of Oliver!

Oliver!
Photo by Pamela Raith

I, like many others, am someone who grew up watching the 1968 adaptation of Oliver! every single Christmas. Thanks to my love of the novel by Charles Dickens, and to my love of the film adaptation, I’ve always been hesitant to watch any stage adaptation because of my high expectations. In contrast, my sister had no such reservations and has previously been to see the West End adaptation of the show. Therefore, she really did have a high standard, in terms of quality theatre adaptations, to compare Curve’s efforts to.

When we entered Curve, it was evident to see how universal the tale of Oliver! was because there was a great mix of people in the foyer. Also, throughout the theatre, you could hear the sound of galloping horses, which was a nice touch and began to set the scene before the audience had even taken to their seats. It actually made me feel like I had walked into an interactive installation or something!

Once we found our seats, I was able to fully appreciate the set up inside the auditorium. The sound of the galloping horses sounded slightly louder here and the stage looked dark, smoky and mysterious, which only served to increase my excitement.

The show kicked off with the much-loved Food, Glorious Food, which was choreographed really well and held the whole audience’s attention throughout. I thought it was a great way to begin! I love it when there are loads of people on stage because it just gets the whole audience pumped and excited – okay, it gets ME pumped and excited!

The whole cast performed brilliantly, specifically the little kids who really were especially fantastic. However, the stand out performers for me were the actors who played Oliver, Nancy and the girl who was the first to sing in the song Who Will Buy?. The actor behind the character of Oliver had such a beautiful and innocent kind of voice – dare I say that it sounded somewhat angelic?!

The girl playing Nancy, the ‘tart with a heart’, really blew me away. She was feisty, energetic, charismatic and innocent, and she had a great voice that was stunningly showcased in As Long As He Needs Me and Oom Pah Pah.  Her take on the character of Nancy was exactly how I envisaged Nancy to be.

Nancy performing Oom Pah Pah

Oliver!
Photo by Pamela Raith

Most of my favourite parts of the show were the show tunes, specifically Who Will Buy?. The girl that was the first to sing had the most beautifully haunting voice, which totally captivated me whenever she sang. I was also super impressed with the harmonies of the four singers who began the song, before the rest of the actors joined in. Seriously impressive stuff!

The performance of You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two was also a particular highlight because of Fagin and the orphans, one of whom was so tiny and adorable. I’ve always thought of Fagin as being a much darker character, but I’ve noticed that he’s been more comedic in most of the adaptations that I’ve seen and was only really dark in the original novel.

I also thought that Mr Bumble could have been scarier, especially considering the young orphans are meant to be extremely fearful of him. However, Kieran Sutcliffe has a great voice and I liked his jovial portrayal of the character nonetheless.

The only criticism I have of the show is that Act II didn’t seem as strong as Act I, with a lot of audience members getting lost when everything kicked off on stage towards the end of the show. The girl sitting next to me was quite baffled, and had I not been so familiar with the story, I probably would have been confused as well. I think the second Act just seemed rushed, with Oliver sidelined more than I feel he should have been.

Visually the show was amazing and, according to my sister, it was similar set up to the West-End adaptation. I loved how the stage was easily transformed, with a lot of detail (hanging clothes, a mini London Bridge, and the basement with the coffins) going into each stage change. Plus, I loved how the depth of the stage was taken full advantage of, particularly in Act II. Oh, and the lightening really helped change and create different atmospheres. My sister and I were really impressed!

All in all I would give this Curve Community Production a massive thumbs up because it impressed me a lot, which is definitely saying something because I had such high expectations from the onset. I thought the amount of effort, in terms of staging, costumes, lighting, was incredible. However, I was most impressed with the cast, who were all from across Leicester and Leicestershire – Go Leicester locals!

Oliver!

Oliver!
Photo by Pamela Raith

Tickets and Information: 0116 242 3595 / www.curveonline.co.uk

Browse the Oliver! production photos >>>

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Party like it’s 2012…Oh wait it is!

Hey Peeps, I hope you had a fantastic New Year!

I have to say I have never looked forward to New Year as much as I did 2012! Surrounded by family and friends, Big Ben chiming, fireworks exploding and singing Auld Lang Syne! (Which is a family tradition, even though I can never remember the words).

But it wasn’t just New Year’s Eve that was special for me. In 3 days I will be turning 22, which I suppose is not as dramatic as the big 21, but it marks another year of fantastic achievements just like last year, for one I started working with The Curve Young Company which reignited my love and flair for Entertainment and Performing Arts, it’s great to be surrounded by so many talented and creative individuals, as the energy within the group is contagious.

I also attended an interview last year at a global entertainment company (I didn’t get the job sadly, but I had an awesome day and learnt so much from team D) which I would have never imagined happening in 2010!

2012 is also a fantastic year for my academic studies,as I am currently working on my Dissertation (which is 14,000 words) Exploring  Social Media, and how it can be used and applied into the Entertainment sector, so I guess all of this blogging practice is helping me along the way.

I am also looking forward to seeing Gypsy with my good friend Priya, who is also a member of The Young Company, as the last show I saw was River Dance and that was last year! As well as Gypsy we also have lots of work to do for The Young Company Show Campaign, today the Creative Brief for the Design Internship has been released, and provides an excellent opportunity for an aspiring Artist, or Graphic Designer to showcase their talents. Check out the link below if you’re interested!

Click Here

Also this year, I was really happy that my two favourite comedians Joanna Lumley and Jenifer Saunders returned to my TV screen ,after a six year break, with the Absolutely Fabulous Christmas and New Year Specials, with a third planned around the Olympics.

Which also brings me onto another reason why 2012 is awesome, for the first time since 1948, London will be hosting the 2012 Olympic Games! Which is really exciting, as London will be bustling with international fans, eager to see their team recognised in the events (I hope I can still get down Oxford Street in the Summer, which is challenging as it is).

Although I am not a sports fan, I have to admire Team GB’s commitment and dedication, after all one does not become a competitor in the games overnight. I will be tuning in to the games never the less, to support Team GB! I might also swing into the 2012 shop in St Pancreas International and pick up a hoodie!

Along with the many exciting events in my personal life, I also have some professional events, for one my graduation which is taking place at Curve! And then I will officially have post nominal letters after my name eek!

I look forward to hearing your plans for 2012, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Love

Ricky x