The Summer Youth Project had us all reminiscing with its 2018 production of the old classic Oliver! based on the novel written by Charles Dickens.
Previously picked as for the project ten and twenty years ago, Oliver! 2018 becomes the latest in a long line of successful youth performances including last year with Summer Holiday and Grease the year before.
Not only were the entire performing cast made up of local children, but they have also had a heavy involvement with the production of the show alongside a professional director, choreographer, musical director and technical team.
So excellent was the casting and direction by Maggie Rawlinson that everyone deserves a mention although special mention has to go to the Depp-esque Archie Fisher as Fagin – he had just two weeks to learn the part and was word and expression perfect, and was the stand-out performer of the night!
There were strong performances from Marcellus Hill as the thuggish, murderous Bill Sykes, a confident swagger from Michael Kerr as the Artful Dodger and Nancy, played by Rhea Thorpe, owned the stage and judging the audience reaction after strong vocal performances made her one of the audience favourites.
Oliver can be a tricky role to pull off, but Cory White gave a guileless performance with his innocent look and pure naive voice.
Such was the effort put into the whole production this Summer Youth Project production really is a must-see.
If you are luck you may be able to pick up a ticket for the remaining show this evening at Swindon Theatres If not make sure you pick up tickets for the 2019 Summer Youth Project!