Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Oliver! -- The Ultimate Review
So here it is at last! Our roving West End reporter Rosie has finally managed to see Oliver! and I think it's fair to say Cameron will be impressed with her verdict.
"We turned up at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane with about 3 minutes to spare. Not great when we're all hungry, thirsty and need the loo. But, we got there in the end.
As per usual, I checked for the AT THIS PERFORMANCE sign and WILL YOU BELIEVE MY BAD LUCK... Nancy: Tamsin Caroll. WHERE IS THAT JODIE LADY!?!?!?!
However, looking down I saw Oliver: Gwion .. So that made me very happy.. and the one name all four of us were desperate for was right at the top, all present and correct.. Fagin: Rowan Atkinson.
So, we climbed gazillion stairs and finally got to the top of the theatre for our balcony seats. The view was pretty good considering how cheap the tickets were. And I can't even tell you how exciting it was to be sitting there looking at the massive black screen with the illuminated 'OLIVER' ..it was AMAAAAAZING!!!!
Then the announcement..
"Unfortunately, due to the indisposition of Jodie Prenger, the role of Nancy will be played by Tamsin Caroll".. By this time I'd already texted Rachel (who saw it last week) and she said that Tamsin was AMAZING so I got over it. I've met Jodie before after all!
So, the show starts with 'Food Glorious Food' and I am greeted by many familiar faces such as Chester and Jordan from IDA! Awh. Anyway, the kids were absolutely wonderful. They were just loving it. And GWIOOOOON is the cutest child ever, he's simply adorable.
Sooo the highlights for me..
Tamsin was absolutely SENSATIONAL! Like, completely wonderful. She was funny, sweet, vulnerable.. you just wanted to hug her, she was absolutely lovely. And the relationship she had with the kids was great too. Her ALAHNM was one of the best renditions I've ever heard.. the last three notes "Heee NEEEEEEEDS MEEEE" were awful, strained but wonderful at the same time as it was so realistic! This girl has just been knocked onto the floor by her man with a stick.. In fact, surprise surprise, looking back only Rachel delivered such an emotional performance..and even then I would say she could have let rip a bit more and gone to pieces..It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't heard it but the last notes were just dreadful but in such an amazing way.. you just BELIEVED her!
Rowan Atkinson. This man is a LEGEND. As soon as he came on stage..
Boys: "FAGIIIIN!" Fagin: "What?" and the WHOLE crowd just starts clapping and cheering. He was absolutely hilarious! He stole the show really. His comic timing and the way he delivers some of the funniest lines.. like when Bill Sikes brings back some silver including an engagement ring and hands it to Fagin and he just goes "Oh Bill..this is all so sudden!". He was fantastic from start to finish. 'Reviewing the situation' was wonderful, he is soooooo good!
Burn Gorman.. TERRIFYING! Thats all i can say, absolutely terrifying but Brilliant too.
DODGER!!!!!!! Absolutely hilarious! such a strong voice too!
And Gwion was just so cute and adorable!
The songs: Consider Yourself, Its a Fine Life, Oom Pah Pah, Id Do Anything, ALAHNM... they were all SO well performed. It took every ounce of self control in me to not jump up and join in.. During the finale Sarah and I had a singsong though! Consider Yourself just looked like SO much fun!
Sarah Lark was pretty good in her limited time on stage.. Her vocal really is very strong.
So, being me I dragged everyone to the stage door and we waited and waited and waaaaited. Gwion was whisked away by his mother, the Lark came out chattering in Welsh.. Tamsin came out and was really sweet but I didn't get a pic with her either.. We were all about Rowan.
So we waited and waited.. longest I've ever waited at the stage door.. Gabz and Gem went cos they were so cold but Sarah and I were determined.. Someone we were waiting with found a reflective jacket somewhere and managed to sneak into the stage door and came out a few mins later going "Well, he's still in there.. but i've just been banned". And then FINALLY he came out!!!!!!!!
I've got to say he is an absolute SWEETHEART.. and he's so funny in real life too! He was so nice.. I HAVE A PICTURE WITH ROWAN ATKINSON!!!! He signed programs, had little chats.. amazing man. I told him he was fantastic and was so so funny and he said "Awwhh well thank you, thanks so much for coming!".
And then we left.. legged it for the last train.. and have just got back!!!!
Sorry about the quality of writing here, i seem to have used the words "amazing" "wonderful" and "adorable" a bit repetitively here. But i have to tell you..
GO AND SEE OLIVER!!!! It brought back what musical theatre is all about. Good old fashioned family fun with singalong songs.. and everyone "Boooooooooooooo"ed Bill at the end too.. Oh and Bullseye was adorable!!
Right, enough for me. But next time you're in London you need to see Oliver, I absolutely promise you will not regret it...
In a sentence: It's a fine, fine life!!!!!