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Oliver! isn't obvious feel-good fare: workhouse boy is mistreated, sold into slavery, escapes, finds himself in the clutches of a miserly rogue who exploits homeless children, becomes entangled and threatened by an East End villain, witnesses a brutal murder.

However, students at Hugh Christie School and Sixth Form have recently performed a remarkably uplifting and sophisticated rendition of Lionel Bart’s classic musical of this Dickens classic.

A cast and support team of nearly fifty students have been working together over the last few months to create a highly professional show over three nights. An authentic Oliver (played by Ivan Collis in Year 8) was supported well by a strong cast of actors and singers. Josh Gurr (Year 11) captured Fagin beautifully with all the mannerisms audiences expect from the rogue. Josh kept the audience spellbound with his performance of Reviewing The Situation showing Fagin at his indecisive and devious best.

Sophie Hall gave a fantastic performance as Nancy and captured her feisty yet very vulnerable character; especially when in the company of the scary Bill Sykes (played by Jack Lewis). The students also brilliantly captured a number of other relationships such as the one between Mr Bumble (played by Nathan Attwell) and Widow Corney (played by Danielle Thompsett) who had the audience laughing during their duet of I Shall Scream.

The main characters were supported by an enthusiastic supporting cast of students from Years 7 to 9 who performed Food Glorious Food and Consider Yourself as a group with huge confidence.

Congratulations should go to the director, Michelle Burton, who achieved some remarkable performances from this young cast who clearly understood the complexity of their characters well. The set , live music and staging all contributed to a highly professional production of Oliver! at Hugh Christie.

Executive Principal, Jon Barker said “this was a memorable performance and the staff and students have once again excelled themselves”.

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