Review: Oliver! at Curve

Kwame Kanderkore as the Artful Dodger and Albert Hart as Oliver EMN-150312-151317001
Kwame Kanderkore as the Artful Dodger and Albert Hart as Oliver EMN-150312-151317001

Just like young Oliver with his empty bowl in hand I was hungry for more after enjoying this full-hearted, emotion-stirring musical at Leicester’s Curve.

The entertaining show, telling Dickens’s much-loved tale of the poor street urchin and his adventures from the bleak workhouse to the cheeky pickpockets, is bursting with rousing songs such as Food, Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, Oom-Pah-Pah and I’d Do Anything to name a few.

Nancy (Cat Simmons), Bet (Lucy Thomas) and the boys perform It's a Fine Life EMN-150312-152459001

Nancy (Cat Simmons), Bet (Lucy Thomas) and the boys perform It's a Fine Life EMN-150312-152459001

But for me it was the all-round musical and acting performances of the cast, the raw energy and charm of the children coupled with the polished story-telling of the adults, that really brought the story to life.

In particular the powerful belted-out numbers by gutsy but ultimately tragic character Nancy (Cat Simmons) pulled at the heart strings.

On the night I attended Oliver was played by Albert Hart whose innocence quickly drew in the audience while Kwame Kandekore impressed as the mischievous Artful Dodger.

The ensemble of children all performed with great energy, with Consider Yourself in particular performed with infectious enthusiasm.

Peter Polycarpou as Fagin EMN-150312-153003001

Peter Polycarpou as Fagin EMN-150312-153003001

Among others I also enjoyed the performance of experienced Peter Polycarpou as Fagin, bringing humour and warmth to the gangmaster role but with slashes of menace thrown in.

It happened to be my first theatre outing at Curve and I was impressed with the whole experience.

Having recently seen a number of shows in the West End I was pleasantly surprised with how Curve compared and, going by the high standards set by Oliver!, from the clever eye-catching sets to the high calibre cast performances, I will be going back for more.

Cast members belt out one of the numbers EMN-150312-153751001

Cast members belt out one of the numbers EMN-150312-153751001