Oliver, Lowther Pavilion
For more than 20 years now young performers on the Fylde coast have relished the opportunity to appear on the stage of the Lowther Pavilion in a Lytham Academy of Theatre Arts production.
Director Lynda Clarkson has again assembled a talented team for a musical full of both tuneful ballads and catchy toe-tappers.
Chris Higgins’ excellent five-piece band offers them sympathetic support.
The cast of 42 are led by three with considerable stage presence – Tom Campbell as a suitably quirky Fagin, Adam Palmer as a menacing Bill Sykes and the assured Erin James who takes the vocal honours as Nancy.
The lighting is first class, but the choreography a little timid, while the challenge of sustaining Cockney accents causes some to gabble their words.
Playing adults is always demanding for LATA’s young casts, but here there is pleasing work from Patrick Meaney, Alicia Harrison and Lewis Melville in their supporting roles.
The enthusiastic and very sizeable audience on the opening night loved the performance of Lewis James in the title role, his treble voice clear and his attitude nicely feisty.
It’s slightly odd for a musical to end with a murder and a shooting, but the infectious tunes carry the show and this year’s LATA cast and team again deserve every congratulation.