Dark streets of London's east end brought to life in Cooma

Oliver! presented by St Patrick's Parish School.

Oliver! presented by St Patrick's Parish School.

Harry Nichols as Fagin.

Harry Nichols as Fagin.

Angela Sullivan as Nancy.

Angela Sullivan as Nancy.

TICKETS to St Patrick's Parish School's musical Oliver are selling out faster than you can sing Oom-Pah-Pah.

The show is in it's second and final week at the Cooma Little Theatre.

The Alyson Hulley-Jeffries produced/Suzanna Stacey directed production will have you leaving Cooma Little Theatre with feelings of a night out well spent.

Although many may remember the original Charles Dickens' classic Oliver Twist to be a dark and miserable tale of a young chap, Lionel Bart's musical take, uplifts the story and seasons it with goodness leaving you feeling not so guilty for watching singing orphans and pickpockets.

As the dark streets of London's east are brought down to scale in the cosy comfort of Cooma Little Theatre, the story and conflicts remain very much the same: a boy named Oliver becomes mistreated and sold into slavery, escapes and finds himself in the den of a career criminal who teaches boys how to pick pocket, is arrested, becomes the target of a brutal East End villain and witnesses the murder of a helping friend.

All this leaves you asking - will Oliver's questions on the whereabouts of love ever be answered?

The hero is played by Cooma talent Alexander Smith, who successfully pulls on the heart strings of the audience throughout the performance. Smith uses his puppy dog eyes and heart-breaking, soft voice to hypnotise the audience during his solo of Where Is Love. However, this apple-cheeked sweetheart soon turns out to be a cheeky little lad who just wants a place to call home.

The smartest of Fagin's pickpockets is Declan Gregory as the Artful Dodger who shows why he was considered Fagan's best with his quality performance.

The loyal female figure of Nancy is portrayed by beautiful Angela Sullivan who convinces the audience that she was born to perform as she drives the musical with her impeccable acting and booming voice that is heard from the back seats. Sullivan is accompanied by the angelic Laura Cooke who plays Nancy's sister and the two dominate the stage with Fagin's gang with It's A Fine Life.

The deep voice of Andreas Nassar fitted perfectly as the character of brutal villain, Bill Sykes. Nassar gives an excellent performance as he snakes his way around the stage.

However, stealing the show is pick-pocket criminal Harry Nichols in his outstanding performance as Fagin. With the disturbingly discoloured beard and oversized trench coat, Nichols has the audience in stitches with his mischievous grin and one liners throughout the show.

The overall performance by all cast members will have you forgetting that this is in fact a school musical. The hard work and dedication from all involved in the production is clearly evident in performances, set design, band and costumes.

A big congratulations to St Patrick's Parish and all who are involved on delivering a show that shouldn't be missed.

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