AOS Oliver! programme Spring 2013

 

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AOS Oliver! programme Spring 2013

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o amey theatre abingdon school ox14 1de mon 8th sat 13th april 2013 7:30pm each night saturday matinee 2:30pm

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oliver!team a oliver!team b

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abingdon operatic society presents oliver music lyrics and book by lionel bart produced for the broadway stage by david merrick and donald albery this amateur production is presented by arrangement with musicscope and stage musicals limited of new york music and dialogue materials supplied by musicscope 75 furnival street crewe cheshire cw2 7lh director edward blagrove musical director john nye choreographer natalie biggs there will be an interval of twenty minutes between the acts please ensure that all mobile phones are switched off the use of all cameras video and audio equipment is prohibited please note that smoking is not allowed anywhere on abingdon school premises including all outside areas for lost property enquiries please call 01235 526106 refreshments are available in the foyer conservatory if you would like to become a member of aos please contact the membership secretary by emailing membership@abingdonoperatic.co.uk

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message from the chairman before we bring on the children for food glorious food and in the way of an hors d oeuvre let us have a few words from john nye our chairman w elcome to oliver arguably one of the most popular and enduring british musicals of the last half century following a record-breaking run at the theatre royal drury lane we are delighted to be able to present a show which is still touring in the uk it is a pleasure to welcome edward blagrove who is familiar to abingdon audiences as a performer as our director and for me to renew my partnership with natalie biggs our choreographer with whom i had the pleasure of working on crazy for you it is also a pleasure to welcome to the stage as it has been to rehearsals the local children who are essential to the plot oliver was the very first musical adaptation of a charles dickens novel to achieve success on the stage arguably it is the most renowned work of lionel bart popular song writer and composer whilst the tale with all its drama is dickens bart not only wrote the songs but the stage play too many of the songs are so well known that to be asked to name half a dozen of them would be an easy quiz question assuming that you enjoy tonight s performance you might be asking what we shall be bringing you next in the autumn we shall transport you in mood to venice for the gondoliers by gilbert and sullivan before we cross the atlantic next spring to 42nd street so please be back soon but now consider yourself at home as we take you back to victorian england and we introduce you to a poor boy named oliver oliver twist there will be an interval of twenty minutes between the acts if you would like to become a member of aos please contact the membership secretary by emailing membership@abingdonoperatic.co.uk 2

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director edward blagrove edward blagrove has appeared in several aos productions most recently taking the title role in 2009 s sweeney todd and now we welcome him back once again m uch like any musical that has been turned into an iconic film generations have grown up with carol reed s imagining of lionel bart s musical so as a director in 2013 i wanted to try and see it with fresh eyes so in order to create `our production of oliver i decided to go right back to the start to dickens 1838 novel and find some inspiration there and there was much to be had some of this musical version s characters are almost unrecognisable from dickens original descriptions so we have used much of dickens vision combined with bart s words and lyrics that is not to say we have dismissed the many productions of bart s musical but that we have explored the words and the music while trying to think of them in a new way the phrase `dark is often overused when describing dramatic entertainment but the themes that dickens wished to explore were not as light as some productions of oliver allow them to be and the production team and i wanted the cast and audience to feel just how gruesome life was for the unfortunate souls that inhabit this world the show is at times violent and repellent in the way it treats the characters dickens wanted to open eyes to this world and 175 years on we should not forget the horrors of our past or dismiss them a few things will be instantly noticeable the artful dodger in both the novel and original stage play is an 18 year old much more explicitly involved in the crime and violence of fagin and bill sykes world i wanted to get back to this approach rather than use the 13 year old peer now synonymous with the piece thanks to jack wild s admittedly brilliant portrayal in reed s film rob bertwistle s fagin is also closer to dickens original description than the performance of ron moody some people may not like these decisions and that is part of theatre as an art form but as a director i wanted to challenge the talented actors of aos to become unique embodiments of well-worn characters i am very proud of their results 3 edward blagrove biography edward trained at the london school of musical theatre and oliver marks his debut directing for aos previous credits for other companies include the producers fame guys dolls new theatre oxford the mikado fiddler on the roof chess oxford playhouse west side story beauty and the beast les miserables headington theatre popcorn ofs studio henry v cornerstone arts the dell stratford upon avon 2013 also sees edward direct productions of the wizard of oz may and sweeney todd november both at the oxford playhouse edward is also a well known teacher and theatre trainer and runs oxford theatre in education please visit www.otie.org.uk for further details.

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musical director john nye j ohn grew up in west london and his musical education took place at the royal college of music when singing he has enjoyed opportunities to take roles as diverse as zeus in orpheus in the underworld pilate in bach s st john passion and rudolph reisenweber the head waiter in hello dolly this is his seventh aos show as musical director when not listening to or playing music coaching rowing or refereeing rugby he teaches and examines mathematics for relaxation he enjoys running and supporting brentford football club he is married to katie an experienced performer and director of amongst others my fair lady and the mikado they have three grown up children all of whom have made substantial contributions on and off stage to aos choreographer natalie biggs t his is natalie s second time as choreographer for aos and she s really enjoyed the challenge of creating the dance numbers and working with the cast and production team the first show natalie choreographed for aos was crazy for you which also gave her the opportunity to play her first main role with aos which was lots of fun natalie trained in musical theatre and dance at the urdang academy covent garden there she performed in how to succeed in business without really trying and honk since graduating she has toured in three professional pantomimes with chaplins a theatre in education group as well as performing and choreographing natalie has taught a variety of age ranges in ballet tap jazz and drama enjoy the show 4

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oliver synopsis o liver twist is a young boy who lives in a workhouse with other orphaned boys when oliver disrupts a meal by asking for more he is sold to a local undertaker and his family they treat oliver horribly and make him sleep under the coffins oliver escapes and runs off to paddington green where he quickly befriends a young man the artful dodger dodger takes him to his home an academy for orphans who learn how to be pick-pockets run by a sinister old gentleman named fagin oliver is also introduced to nancy a lovable young street woman and bet nancy s apprentice when oliver goes on his first pick-pocketing job he is caught by the police the man who was robbed mr brownlow learns of oliver s sad past and brings him into his own home meanwhile nancy s lover the villainous and violent bill sykes worries that innocent oliver will tell mr brownlow and the police where the thieves live he forces nancy and bet to snatch oliver from mr brownlow s house and take him back to fagin s nancy does everything her man tells her but plans to secretly take oliver safely back to mr brownlow before she can do so bill finds out her plans and murders her he then goes after oliver but is hunted down shot and killed oliver and mr brownlow who turns out to be oliver s grandfather return safely home national operatic and dramatic association bingdon operatic society is very proud to be a member of the national operatic and dramatic association and you may notice members of our front-of-house team wearing their noda long service medals tonight founded in 1899 noda is divided into eleven regions each headed by a regional councillor who sits on the national council supported by a network of regional representatives these 190 volunteers are the vital link to the grass roots of the association the amateur theatre groups themselves a noda representative will be attending the show during the week and feeding back on the production with the helpful and much anticipated `noda crit a review of the performance and all aspects of the production noda s vision is that amateur theatre should be successful and sustainable providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and enjoy taking part at all levels they support the education and information needs of individuals and groups contributing greatly to the continued success of amateur theatre in the uk for more information visit the noda web site at www.noda.org.uk 5 a

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q&a when and where did you first appear on stage it was the church christmas social in bolton lancashire i was nine years old and dressed in my choirboy s uniform i sang `o little town of bethlehem and had my mother in tears along with several others do you know where your interest in musical theatre came from at around t h e mr bumble chris biggs same age my parents used to travel down to london a couple of times a year for a treat this involved seeing a show as part of the itinerary and they always brought back the lp record i would play these over and over singing along until i knew everything by heart it was great ­ oklahoma south pacific carousel and many others how did you begin designing sets my first teaching job was in a relatively small independent school where i taught all the art had responsibility for extracurricular drama and a recent chairman of aos chris has also designed literally tons of our show sets directed several productions and taken many principal roles over the last 15 years now retired from his role at abingdon school he s thankfully still part of our team.

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was an assistant housemaster on the drama side this meant i did everything from sets and lighting to directing when i came to teach at abingdon school i carried on designing sets for all the school productions and over the last 15 years i ve designed quite a few for aos to date it s more than 150 sets designed i look on it as an extension of my own art work what s the most difficult part of set design producing something that fulfils what the director is aiming for in style and practical requirements can be difficult it has to look good to function well be easy to construct within limited time and budget and designed to be transportable and assembled in the venue within tight `getin and `get-out schedules the right balance between all these factors is the tricky thing one day i would really like to design west side story on a big stage and with all the modern technological back-up to allow me to use projected still and moving images it s always good to have a dream when did you first join aos in 1998 i got a part in the next show the sorcerer and have been lucky enough to be in a good number of shows since then i suppose my favourite roles include hajj the poet in kismet mr pickwick in pickwick the cowardly lion in the wizard of oz and of course mr bumble the beadle tonight i have also directed two shows for aos ­ sweeney todd and anything goes do you still get nervous before a performance without fail i think a certain amount of nerves is a good thing it keeps you sharp and on edge and ensures a focused and lively performance like most others i have my personal rituals that i go through before a performance why did you get involved with the committee i hadn t been a member for long before i realised what an enormous amount i was getting out of it it seemed right to try to put something back in as well as performing in the shows at that time i was the arts centre administrator and amey theatre manager at the school so i was involved in facilitating the shows with the society it seemed a natural thing to offer to join the committee eventually i graduated to being chairman the best thing about this was that it happened during our fifty year anniversary celebrations there were lots of wonderful events and all i had to do was turn up and enjoy them on the down side 7 there is the constant stream of administration that putting on two shows a year requires ­ it just never goes away woe betide the chairman who thinks there are a few quiet weeks coming up did you get more fulfilment from directing than performing bringing a production to performance involves so many different things that it must ultimately be the more satisfying it s also absolutely draining of your resources on every level by comparison taking a role in a production is a lot more fun and you have the possibility of that ultimate fulfilment the audience reaction pure heaven what else do you do with your time i draw and paint increasingly using my ipad as a sketchbook look after my garden enjoy the natural world member of abingdon naturalists society take photographs and tour the british isles with my wife in our motor caravan is there a part that you would particularly like to play i have wanted to play tony in west side story ever since i first heard it ­ but i m too old for that now if someone was to whisper les miserables in my direction i can think of at least three roles that i d bite your hand off for.

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principal cast in order of appearance oliver mr bumble widow corney mr sowerberry mrs sowerberry charlotte noah claypole the artful dodger fagin nancy bet bill sykes mrs bedwin mr brownlow dr grimwig old sally annie old lady joe clinton chris biggs lorna stevenson ian skeels lynne winter rebecca peberdy alastair ballard-martin james white rob bertwistle jessica joy dancy jenna elliott james ramon-baker jen woodford george green iain launchbury wendy lewis gemma kitching street sellers alice aldous charlotte middlebrook kevin pope stephen webb debbie wilde chorus adrian amstead kat ballard-martin simon blainey di bryan beverley burnham kerry callaghan sarah carter lesley donovan valerie findlay linda harris stephen hinds phil hughes tara hunter jane maggs brian miller jo pickering rob rees katie rooke verity thomas nigel winter children team a liam deegan grace dodgson hannah dray ben ffrench felix harris florence harris chloe kitching lucy kitching charlie lay hope littlejohn toby littlejohn ella mccombie mitzi rayment tabitha smith team b daisy adderley josh brett abi dent emily hancock eloise higgs lewis hinds eli miller kissy o hara tom pearson alicia rhodes-beale suzanne stewart arran toolin rosie toolin the orchestra violins mariette richter leader alison cutting jayne dimmick marisa miller viola jacqui mackenzie `cello andrea williams double bass graeme hollingdale piccolo flute lorna edwards clarinet ian adlington oboe cor anglais bassoon horn trumpet trombone piano percussion joanna rhind-tutt glyn williams ingrid turner luke scott huw james huw morgan chris fletcher-campbell paul radameyer

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scenes and musical numbers the workhouse dining hall early evening the three cripples a pub in clerkenwell that evening `food glorious food oliver chorus `oliver mr bumble widow corney chorus the workhouse parlour `i shall scream widow corney mr bumble `boy for sale mr bumble the undertaker s parlour `that s your funeral mr mrs sowerberry mr bumble `where is love oliver the undertaker s shop next morning `oom-pah-pah nancy bet chorus `my name bill sykes `as long as he needs me nancy the brownlows two weeks later reprise `where is love mrs bedwin `who will buy oliver street sellers chorus the thieves kitchen reprise `it s a fine life nancy bill fagin dodger `reviewing the situation fagin the workhouse parlour a few days later paddington green morning a week later `consider yourself dodger oliver chorus the thieves kitchen `pick a pocket or two fagin children `it s a fine life nancy bet children `i d do anything dodger nancy oliver bet fagin children `be back soon fagin dodger children reprise `oliver widow corney mr bumble the brownlows a few days later reprise `as long as he needs me nancy london bridge night reprise `reviewing the situation fagin london bridge

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oliver joe clinton joe is 14 years old and attends st birinus school didcot he has been involved in drama since he was nine years old his first acting experience was as joseph in joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat once he moved up to secondary school he was lucky enough to be given the role of the lion in the wizard of oz and received enormous encouragement from supportive teachers he has also done a few other plays for local theatre groups including playing michael in peter pan in an outdoor amphitheatre he has been studying ballet for the past few years and hopes to be accepted to do performing arts when he goes into further education joe hopes you enjoy the show fagin rob bertwistle rob has at last achieved one of his secret acting ambitions which is to play the part of fagin in the much loved musical oliver fagin is such a well-known literary character that it s a challenge to bring something new and fresh to the part but rob hopes he has achieved this in some small measure rob has had a long and varied career in amateur theatre but it has been quite some time since a part has proved so demanding and he has really had to pull out all the stops certain `friends of rob have said that playing a miserable old miser will require no acting but he asks you to put such unkind thoughts aside and enjoy the show oh and watch your pockets on the way out 10

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the artful dodger james white dodger is james first principal role and oliver is his third show after aos s calamity jane last year and pirates of penzance at exeter university james got lured back to the stage after moving to oxford last year and is enjoying being part of aos dodger is a great first part not least because he has some great songs he is a friend to oliver fun but also exploitative selfish and a real bad egg whilst james would like to think he is still a child he is not and playing an older dodger hopefully brings something new to the role james works for the bfi currently on its museum collection getting to handle costumes worn by stars like marilyn monroe fred astaire and charlie chaplin the rest of the time he works in a bunker in a field containing the world s largest collection of nitrate film nancy jessica joy dancy jessica graduated in 2009 with a degree in drama with english literature from the university of portsmouth then went on to complete a master s degree in vocal studies music at the university of york oliver is jessica s first production with aos and she is very excited about playing the role of nancy past roles include first witch in purcell s dido and aeneas also fiametta in gilbert and sullivan s the gondoliers fruma-sarah in bock s fiddler on the roof both playing at the new theatre royal in portsmouth and more recently bobbie in woolford and john s the railway children and ronette in little shop of horrors both with wantage stage musical company jessica is also a member of oxford operatic society and has played chorus in bizet s carmen and more recently a silly girl in disney s beauty and the beast 11

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bill sykes james ramon-baker twenty-two year old james is originally from didcot and has been performing for 12 years in various companies all over the country but this is his debut performance with aos after four years of study in bristol and hull he graduated last year with a ba hons in musical theatre james has also spent the last few years gaining experience in directing shows such as footloose spring awakening rent oliver and phantom of the opera he was also in the original casts and cast recordings of the musicals watership down as captain holly and silver as jim hawkins other performing credits include les miserables ­ valjean/javert/marius we will rock you ­ kashoggi jesus christ superstar ­ pilate and many more james is currently taking a year out to work on his first solo album it s always fun playing a baddy lorna has buckled her swash as ruth in the pirates of penzance and been stiff-upper-lipped as patricia in crazy for you in past aos productions and has enjoyed many gilbert and sullivan parts in the past including a nearly-uncontrollably mad bridesmaid and a blood-thirsty daughter-in-law elect widow corney lorna stevenson here in oliver she finds herself playing a similarly-natured widow but this part is a noticeable development on those previous roles not only does widow corney get married but we also get to see how the `ever after turns out lorna will be saying i do for real in about three weeks time we hope her `groom takes note 12

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mr sowerberry ian skeels this is ian s first show onstage with aos since october 2008 s my fair lady in june 2009 his son joshua was born and he agreed with wife joy that they should each take a show in turn while the other stayed home to babysit needless to say it didn t work out like this and while joy has taken principal roles in several shows since and directed last year s crazy for you ian has spent his time at home producing aos s posters and show programmes as well as creating and maintaining the society s web site ian is now delighted to be back on stage in oliver relishing the camaraderie backstage and the excitement onstage mr sowerberry is a small but enjoyable part and ian intends to cherish every minute of it don t expect to see him back soon though as he fully expects to be replaced by joy for aos s next show from broadway shows gilbert and sullivan to classical and opera lynne has enjoyed a varied singing career she has performed over forty leading roles with abingdon and harpenden operatic societies and has sung as a soloist with oxford touring opera mrs sowerberry lynne winter she particularly enjoys parts which incorporate dance or comedy and some of her favourite parts include julie in show boat valencienne in the merry widow guinevere in camelot bonnie in anything goes and eliza in my fair lady she also sings for weddings and after dinner entertainment and has recorded a professional cd which has raised money for charity she is really enjoying this cameo role which has some great lines 13

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