For nearly 30 years, The Dukes have been putting on open air theatre shows for people to come and see from far and wide. This year was no different and it was the turn of Debbie Oates to put her adaptation on the classic Oliver Twist.
Even before the show started, the cast members were within the audience making conversation and getting everyone into the Victorian spirit. This worked especially well for the children who attended and this was a theme that ran throughout. There were also vendors selling pies and the like to get everyone into the right mindset.
Then the play begins and we are introduced to the cast such as the artful dodger played by Josie Cerise who is an asset to the team and undertakes the role brilliantly. Jerome Thompson takes the lead role of Oliver and plays the naive character very well. The rest of the cast play multiple roles and this is done so well that they are virtually unrecognisable, my mum didn’t believe that Fagin was played by the same actor as Mr Bumble, two very contrasting roles.
The setting was also perfect; Williamson Park is a beautiful part of the country and despite the bad weather each of the several scenes were placed in different areas of the park from deep in the woods to the stunning Ashton Memorial.
This show was great for all the family but was especially good for children who were catered to a brilliantly, funny, and dramatic play with a dark undertone. I highly recommend a visit before the run is over.
Tickets are still available for Oliver Twist at The Dukes here.
Review by Jack McCabe | @JackMcCabeIMN