Review: Oliver!

For their annual winter production the highly talented CTC turn their attentions to Lionel Bart’s Oliver!

Over the year’s there have been countless tellings of Charles Dickens’ tale of young Oliver Twist, firstly abandoned at a workhouse, then falling in with thieves before being rescued, but it is probably Lionel Bart’s film musical that is best known by most.

The stage show was made into a movie in 1969 with a star-studded cast of well known names (Moody, Reed, Secombe to name just three).

You will not know the names of CTC’s cast though as they are not Stars….Yet. But there are certainly many stars of the future in this fine cast.

Every single member of the production is perfectly cast as they always are in the company’s productions, no putting someone in just because they are a member, the cast have all earned the right to their roles.

The story is well known, the production does take some inspiration from the movie but at no point do you feel, for example that Rowan Murphy is a poor second to Jack Wild’s movie Artful Dodger, they’re both cut from the same cloth.

Matt Gilchrist, after playing Scrooge in Christmas Carol last year, was a natural choice for the part of Fagin and young Lloyd Sayles takes the title role of Oliver and he looks so vulnerable in such a wicked world of Victorian London.

This is a big cast and at times the Apex stage is jam-packed for some terrifically choreographed numbers such Consider Yourself.

As always the performance is backed by a live orchestra under the direction of musical director Jade Tournay-Godfrey.

I could go on to extoll the virtues of every single cast member as they are all truly wonderful, but it is the direction and leadership of Bridie Horne that ensures that all of these very talented youngsters do not just perform well but succeed in shining like the young stars that they are.

“Please Sir can I have some More” asked Oliver and in response CTC have listened as 2020 sees three more productions coming to the stages of Suffolk.

Oliver by The CTC is at The Apex, Bury until 4th January 2020 – Find our more about the company at

Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine.
Photos: Mike Kwasniak