Image above: Waiting for the show to start – Oliver! at Chiswick School
Chiswick School is getting a bit of a name for itself for the Performing Arts. The school’s Head of Performing Arts, Tommy Robinson, has delivered a very ambitious programme of no fewer than 15 productions in this academic year.
Oliver! In July was the eleventh – a brilliant production set in the round, with the audience sitting at tables, cabaret style, and the cast milling about, chatting to the audience in character before it started.
Strong performances especially from Orla, the year 7 girl who played Oliver, Eloise as Widow Corney, the matron of the workhouse, and Manny as Fagin (not allowed to report their surnames). Exuberant, confident performances from all.
Images above: Mr Bumble with Oliver; Fagin
Fabulous music, costumes and props
The choice of Oliver!, where you need a large cast of children, is perfect for a school. It’s perfect in other ways too. The music is infectious, all the songs are catchy and everyone knows the words. The audience was invited to join in and to get up and dance with the cast.
Head of music Zak Moxon made sure the music was spot on. The direction – involving slapstick interactions with unsuspecting members of the audience and using the whole space as the cast ran around at the end, hunting Bill Sykes, the lighting, the costumes and the set – right down to Victorian knick-knacks on the tables – made it a very exciting and innovative production.
Images above: Oliver; Nancy; Nancy with Bill and Oliver
The school has four productions coming up in July, to which the public are invited. Just turn up, they are not ticketed events, but donations are welcome, which go in the pot to enable the department to put on future events.
Coming up at Chiswick School this summer
Monday 11th July at 7pm – Wind in the Willows
Tuesday 12th July from 5pm – Summer Arts Festival with live music and food
Wednesday 13th July at 7pm – The Caucasian Chalk Circle
Thursday 14th July at 7pm – Music and dance revue
Chiswick School, Burlington Ln, Chiswick, London W4 3UN
Entrance on Staveley Rd.
Images above: Widow Corney, Mr & Mrs Sowerby; closing number
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