Cardiff High's Oliver!
WORDS: Tom Bevan (Sprout Editorial Group)
"Please sir, I want some more!"
The famous line from Dickens' Oliver Twist seemed to be on everyone's lips as they left the school hall.
The Cardiff High School adaptation of the Lionel Bart musical, Oliver! could well have been on a professional stage, with the standards of acting, singing and choreographing soaring above my original expectations.
The 95-strong cast incorporated pupils from every year group and the band accompanied the show excellently.
Each role was memorable in its own way, although it was the passionate chorus which made the show that something special. Every member of the cast seemed to be giving 100% effort to create their own character, 100% of the time.
Oliver was played brilliantly by Alex Davies, clearly a talented young actor and singer. He pursued a more headstrong Oliver, yet showed the child's usual innocence.
Fagin, played perfectly by Will Gray combined excellently with Nancy (Holly Blundell) whose spine-tingling voice created many 'hair on the back of my neck' moments. I honestly believe she could have given I'd Do Anything winner Jodie Prenger a real run for her money with her rich vocals.
Mr and Mrs Bumble's hilarious onstage relationship lightened the affair and helped warm up the audience for the heavier scenes which usually involved Bill Sykes (Matthew Grindulis), the villain of the story who was convincing to the point that most of the audience were quivering in their boots!
The show, put together by the Music and Drama Departments at the school, was marvellously performed and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Particular congratulations to Mr DM Legget, who directed the show and managed to involve so many pupils.
I'm already looking forward to next year, as the school is planning staging Les Mis?rables.
At just £6 a ticket, forget the West End... come to Cardiff High!