Fans get behind the hype of ‘Oliver!’ 

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“Oom-Pah Pah”, set in a London pub.

THE word is out that the Queanbeyan Players’ upcoming musical “Oliver!” is selling fast and that, in the best tradition of amateur theatre, the cast members are thoroughly enjoying themselves.

At the preview, director of the show Jude Colquhoun told media that it had been “interesting” trying to do the big numbers with just a handful of actors instead of the more than 40 actors who will be seen on stage from this weekend. But it didn’t seem to daunt the ensemble, led by Emily Pogson as Nancy, as they belted out a raucous version of the song, “Oom-Pah Pah”, set in a London pub.

Oliver, left, and Artful Dodger in “Consider yourself”.

A moment later, Joss Kent, as the Artful Dodger, took the action into a different mood as he invited the young Oliver (played by Willum Hollier-Smith) into Fagin’s family of pickpockets in the number “Consider Yourself”.

Pogson then returned to the stage for a heartfelt rendition of her show-stopper, “As Long as He Needs Me”.

The musical, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart, is a favourite with local audiences and seemed the springtime choice to entertain the players’ loyal fans.

“Oliver!”, at The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, September 27 to October 6. Bookings to or 6285 6290.

The company is holding special fundraising shows on October 2 and October 4 for the ACT Domestic Violence Crisis Service and Raw Potential Canberra, as well as a low-cost 2pm matinee on October 3 during the school holidays.


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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