THEY say never work with children and animals but earlier this month Hamilton Operatic and Dramatic Club did both with outstanding success.
Their latest production Oliver! by the award winning Lionel Bart played to over 4,000 people in Motherwell Concert Hall and received acclaim as one of their best shows.
Telling the story of the boy, Oliver, who dared to ask for more, the show featured a cast of 90 including 50 children and one dog.
In the title role, Ciaran Rodgers, captured to character to perfection with a moving ‘Where is Love’ a particular highlight. Ciaran McGuire proved to be a great Artful Dodger acting and singing well throughout.
The other children made up the workhouse children and Fagin’s gang. They always lit up the stage singing and moving with confidence and got the show off to a rousing start with ‘Food, Glorious Food’.
As Fagin, John Carr was outstanding with his singing and acting excellent throughout. His ‘Reviewing the Situation. in particular was funny and thought provoking. Suzanne Gilliland portraying Nancy once again gave a wonderful performance capturing all the drama and emotion of the role, all of which was summed up in a moving ‘As Long as he Needs Me’.
Gordon Watson was perfectly cast as the villain of the show, Bill Sykes, his acting and singing of the highest standard throughout.
As Beadle of the workhouse, Colin Vincent, and Margaret Thomson as Widow Corney brought out all the comedy in the roles as they attempted to cash in on Oliver’s wealthy background.
In the roles of Mr and Mrs Sowerberry, the undertaker and his wife, the pairing of Peter Scally and Cathy Taylor worked well with ‘That’s Your Funeral’ a particular highlight.
Other principals also showed a high standard - Robbie McCue as Noah, Valerie Bowie as Charlotte, Jackie White as Bet, Emma Roger as Mrs Bedwin, Peter McMillan as Doctor Grimwig, Stuart Dick as Oliver’s grandfather, Mr Brownlow, and not forgetting Chester the dog as Bullseye, all added to the production.
The chorus don’t have much to do in the show, but when they appeared they were in fine voice as demonstrated in ‘Who Will Buy?’ and ‘Oom-Pah-Pah’ particularly.
Director/choreographer Irene McMillan assisted by Suzanne Gilliland and musical director Elizabeth Pearson assisted by Ian Mathie can be justly proud of yet another wonderful production by the talented Hamilton Operatic and Dramatic Club.
Next up will be Fiddler on the Roof, in Motherwell Concert Hall on November 13–17 with tickets on sale soon.