Newstead Wood School’s production of Oliver! took place on 24th-26th January. This was the first production since before Covid.

The cast was made up entirely of students, chosen selectively through auditions. People of all years took part in not only acting but also the pit band, stage management, set and costume design, and lighting and sound. Oliver! has been 4 months in the making, with rehearsals after school several days a week. This incredible teamwork and talent led to an amazing show.

Lionel Bart’s Oliver! (1960), which was revived by Cameron Mackintosh in 1994, is based on the Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, an orphan boy who joins a gang of thieves and pickpockets.

This musical is sorrowful yet comedic, featuring catchy tunes including Food, Glorious Food, Consider Yourself and It’s A Fine Life. My favourite has to be I’d Do Anything. Teachers, students and family all went to watch. Members of the audience thoroughly enjoyed it, and so did the people involved too.

Not only did students have the opportunity to perform in a production and experience how musical theatre works, but also they made new friends and memories and everyone had lots of fun.

Millie, the double bass player in the pit band, said “It involved a lot of quick-thinking skills by the band, as most of us have never played alongside actors before. I learnt a lot of sightreading skills and met some brilliant musicians and friends. I’m so glad I had this opportunity.”

Personally, this was a great and memorable experience and I feel very lucky to be part of Oliver! in the band.

Hopefully, there will be more productions to come in the future!