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OLIVER! triumph for the High School
10:20am Monday 10th March 2014 in News
THE audience at a lavish school production of "Oliver!" were certainly left asking for more.
The John Masefield High School show last week revealed just why the Ledbury school is an arts college, with a spectacle that involved over 100 students from all age groups.
There was a little army of small pickpockets and urchins, who not only filled up the stage with their all-singing and dancing enthusiasm, but also marched into the auditorium at times, for a show that was well choreographed and well-rehearsed.
In three shows, including a Saturday matinee which was followed very quickly by an evening production, none of the cast allowed their energy to flag; and they were rewarded with wild cheers and loud applause from every audience.
Special praise was heard for Ben Mowbray, aged 16, who played Fagin to perfection, in a way that would not shame a professional West End stage.
Beth Hiley was an engaging Nancy, with a clear and soaring voice, especially during the moving aria, "As long as he needs me".
And Louis Hughes was a suitably animated and menacing Bill Sykes.
The youthful orchestra tackled a complicated and challenging score with real gusto, and the sets, and the set changes, were also a credit to a school which clearly takes the performing arts very seriously and knows how to put on a splendid show.