Reviewing the situation - Sidmouth Youth Theatre's Oliver! is a smash hit

PUBLISHED: 14:30 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:54 07 February 2018

Youngsters from Sidmouth Youth Theatre in their final dress rehearsal for their sell out show Oliver! - Credit Mike Rees Pearce

Youngsters from Sidmouth Youth Theatre in their final dress rehearsal for their sell out show Oliver! - Credit Mike Rees Pearce

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Sidmouth Youth Theatre brought all the Oom Pah Pah to the Manor Pavilion with their smash-hit production of Oliver!

Youngsters from Sidmouth Youth Theatre in their final dress rehearsal for their sell out show Oliver! - Credit Mike Rees PearceYoungsters from Sidmouth Youth Theatre in their final dress rehearsal for their sell out show Oliver! - Credit Mike Rees Pearce

It is the 43rd show staged by the group and year after year continues to leave crowds wanting more.

This year the show featured a talented ensemble of more than 70 Sidmouth College students to take on Lionel Bart’s much loved songs.

The youth theatre last performed the popular musical back in 2002, which featured Tony Award winning actor Alex Sharp in the role of Oliver.

For audiences this time around, it was clear each performer relished the role they were playing and none more so than Sam Hunt as the cranky but mischievous Fagin. His characterisation entertained the crowd and was the cause of many of the laughs.

Youngsters from Sidmouth Youth Theatre in their final dress rehearsal for their sell out show Oliver! - Credit Mike Rees PearceYoungsters from Sidmouth Youth Theatre in their final dress rehearsal for their sell out show Oliver! - Credit Mike Rees Pearce

It was one of many standout performances from the principal cast. Jacob Green captured the innocence of eponymous Oliver Twist and Jack Wilson was cheeky Artful Dodger.

Lauren Brewster was both bolshie and vulnerable as Nancy, and her emotion packed rendition of As Long As He Needs Me was one of the best numbers, before the character meets a tragic end.

Cameron Retter made his presence known from the moment Bill Sykes walked in at the start of Act Two. The youngster successfully created the tension needed to drive the show towards its dramatic ending.

The show also had many fantastic dance routines which showcased the cast as a whole including Food Glorious Food, Pick A Pocket or Two and I’d Do Anything.

Youngsters from Sidmouth Youth Theatre in their final dress rehearsal for their sell out show Oliver! - Credit Mike Rees PearceYoungsters from Sidmouth Youth Theatre in their final dress rehearsal for their sell out show Oliver! - Credit Mike Rees Pearce

Students demonstrated their juggling and acrobatic skills as well as a polished execution of the choreography.

The one piece set was versatile to transport the audience from the workhouse to an undertaker’s parlour or become the streets of London or a thieves den. It was mastered by a backstage crew who seamlessly carried out transitions.

Another highlight was at the close of the show with the cast posing in a freeze frame before breaking out into the final number, which was met with rapturous applause.

The audience were left wanting the youth theatre to be back soon at the Manor Pavilion so they can book tickets for the next production.

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