'The Senior School Drama production of Oliver Twist plunged us deep into 19th Century England where the central character, born into poverty and raised in corruption struggled to survive against all odds.
Charles Dickens’ novel was expertly brought to life by a powerful and professional ensemble. Keeping true to the original writing, this biting social and political commentary of the time was delivered with honesty. From the gloomy workhouse to Fagin’s cluttered attic and through the dark streets of London, we followed Oliver as he navigated his perilous journey.
This was a highly professional production, with energised performances, excellent technical detail and slick transitions. The large ensemble were meticulously professional in their approach, with a focused and supportive attitude throughout the cast and some excellent leadership displayed from the central actors.
There are far too many standout performances to mention individually, but particular note must be made of Daniel Ferrier (First Form, Vanbrugh) and Tom Orton (Third Form, Swift) who were sympathetic and believable in the lead role. They were pursued with venomous malice by a superbly condescending Mr Bumble played by Hayden Camidge (Fifth Form, Vanbrugh), a wonderfully frenetic Fagin played by Alexander Cooper (Upper Sixth, Gascoigne), and a darkly menacing Sam Bird (Upper Sixth, Harcourt) in the role of Bill Sykes.
The beating heart of this production was perhaps provided by the excellent Georgie Vallance (Lower Sixth, Vanbrugh) as Nancy and Jamie Wehrle (Second Form, Queen Anne) as Dodger, whose bravura portrayals of these complex characters allowed us to sympathise with those whose lives had contained nothing but graft and crime.
Weaving its way throughout the play was the haunting live performance of Mr Heaney’s violin, accenting and punctuating the tragic unfurling of Oliver Twist’s life. This was an outstanding production of wonderful imagery, with a poignant social message and raw emotional power. It reminded us that despite the encroaching darkness, there is always a light, and that whatever the circumstance, we should never abandon hope.'