Oliver!, Dec 1985

Creative Team
Director – Peter Kennedy
Musical Director – William Cairns

Oliver Twist – Ian McLarnon / Kathryn Quinn
The Artful Dodger – Heather McIlwaine / Mary McNally
Fagin – John McGrillan
Nancy – Claire Nally
Bill Sykes – Joseph O’Connor
Bet – Ita Coyle / Siobhan Hawkins
Mr Bumble – Ivan McKenna
Widow Corney – Winifred Briggs
Mr Sowerberry – Michael Blair
Mrs Sowerberry – Agnes McComb
Charlotte – Ciara McGrillan
Noah Claypole – Joseph Downey
Mr Brownlow – Gerard Dowd
Mrs Bedwin – Veronica Monan
Dr Grimwig – Oliver Johnston
Old Sally – Therese Timoney
Flower seller – Margaret McGahan
Milkmaid – Wilma Bickerstaff
Strawberry seller – Joanne Laverty
Knife-grinder – Hugh Magee

Oliver! cast 1985

Workhouse Boys and Fagin’s Gang
Christopher Connors, Hilary Devlin, Karen Fulton, Elizabeth Harding, Stephen Harding, Catherine Harper, Emma Hession, Margaret Kelly, Lisa Kennedy, Kate Lowry, Gavin McAuley, Julianne McDowell, Emma McGrath, Margo Morris, Stella Morris, Christine Nelson, Rosemary O’Connor

Wilma Bickerstaff, Peter Donnelly, Andrew Harding, Janet Hill, Sheila Kerr, Joanne Laverty, Marion Lynn, John McCabe, Bernarda McElhone, Pauline McErlean, Margaret McGahan, Bernadette McKeague, Stephen McKenna, Laurentia McKeown, Una McLarnon, Gerry Stelle, Therese Timoney

Oliver! ticket

Artful ‘Oliver!’ by Fortwilliam

‘Consider yourself’ in for a real treat with Fortwilliam Musical Society’s production of Oliver! running at the Little Flower Hall (Somerton Road) this week.

Lionel Bart’s famous musical must rank as one of the best all-rounders – packed full of memorable songs, plenty of fast-moving action, lots of great character parts and an extremely well-written script and lyrics.

Peter Kennedy’s production justly received fine applause last night, but the stars of the show were the children, particularly Kathryn Quinn as Oliver and Mary McNally as the Artful Dodger who, together with the other children as workhouse boys and Fagin’s gang brought sparkle and a confident enthusiasm to their scenes.

The odious Bill Sykes was played to the full by Joseph O’Connor and Fagin was memorably portrayed by John McGrillan, especially in the rousing number Be Back Soon, sung with his band of young ruffians.

The whole show is full of great character parts, which the cast can get their teeth into and I was a little disappointed to see that some of the wit and humour in both scripts and songs weren’t developed more fully by the adults (perhaps if they relaxed more and simply enjoyed their villainous roles?). The cameo roles of Charlotte and Noah Claypole were excellent, however.

Claire Nally came across strongly as Nancy and the piano accompaniment was most professional, although perhaps a little loud for some of the younger soloists.

Oliver! runs through until Sunday and is just the thing for a family night out in the festive season.

Diane Day, Belfast Telegraph

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