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Oliver at the Wendt

October 16, 2006
Saturday saw me hit the Wendt with my GF of course and some of her friends to witness the magic of the Workshop players in their rendition of Oliver. The twisted boy who doesnt seem to stray to the dark side (oops this is not Star Wars now is it) no matter how much he’s exposed to it. Anyways I have yet to see the “theatrical production” of the book so this is a truly first for me. There fore my comments may be purely ignorant to just plain old stupid. 🙂

Upon arriving there was a sense of this is being a “Children’s Play” dished out and murmur in the audience waiting outside for the door to be opened suggested it too. The no of kiddo’s even in the balcony gave me un-easy feeling coz I was already getting a bad feeling of :

  • Either it’s going to be a children’s play that is of low caliber or
  • Good adult play and the kids in the audience are going to ruin it with their constant nagging their mommies.

To my utter delight none of these were the case. Although the play had a majority of children involved in it, it was handled in a professional manner and the adult actors stole the show. The audience was pretty good apart from a kiddo crying for his mommy once in a while. (Wonder why these mommies cant keep their kiddo’s with them instead of letting them sit alone and get scared)

So lets get on with the play, shall we? It was a musical as most would guess, and done very well I must say. The singing was beautiful to the ear, atleast most of it. They used clip on mic’s, to their advantage in this case. It was obvious that they have rehearsed with them and got the sound levels balanced way before. Except for one occasion their wasn’t any annoying feedback or mishandling of the mic’s.

Actors(es) were pretty good in their portrayals. Nancy I would say stole the show. Fagin was great too, although his beard was a wee bit of a hindrance to his expressions (Or may be I’m just blind and my -2.25 glasses dont server their purpose anymore). Oliver was good but lacked clarity in his speech. Sikes was good too. However his appearance wasn’t as menacing as it could have been. I’d picture him with longer hair thick side-burns and maybe even some stubble on the face. The artful dodger’s performance also needs some mentioning.

As always the production had some points they could improve, so let the critic in me do my business of pointing out in my opinion what could have been improved on.

The stage setting was nice, the props seemed to have been used well. There was a circular part of the platform that was on rollers and basically did a 360. The movement was fluid except for the noise it made. Maybe they could grease the wheels better. The problem was that the turning thingy was used a little too often. It worked well in some scenes like when Oliver runs away from the Funeral parlor and they use it to show both inside and out. But it was often turned with no purpose and felt more like “hey check out our new fancy gadget..”

Also it would have been nice if the curtain(I think it has finally given away, the runners weren’t that cooperative the last time we used it) or the white screen they used was closed at the start as a sense of the magic was lost when you could see the stage before the production started in general house lights.

Playing the stage on two levels was nice, however it cut off the Balcony audience. I know we contribute only 200 bucks to the cause, but that doesn’t mean you should cut us off like that, as a fair proportion was played on the upper level. In such cases they should have brought the 2nd level a bit lower, so that it wouldn’t look like “headless” people singing.

On a side note : Those who are familiar with the Wendt staff, our beloved “Rupe” has had another fall, and most of the weight has gone on to the leg he broke the last time he had a nasty fall.

With regard to singing, some actors like Mr. Bumble had a tough time, I think he should have been relived of this heavy burden with all due respect to the actor. I hope this would be addressed. And that rather vulgar scene between the two, well with all the kids present hmm..

Finally correct me if I’m wrong but there was a part left out according to the book. But it’s understandable that you can fit in only soo much. Just haven’t seen the play before so wondering whether it was cut off by the Workshop players or is it the case originally.

Anyways that’s just me going at it. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the production. 200 Bucks well spent!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2006 8:59 am

    Hehe, are you the guy who tripped over my Coke?

    You owe me a drink!


  2. Chaar~Max permalink
    October 16, 2006 9:24 am

    Hey nice post dude. You kinda had me wondering whether you were being sarcy or just your own self.

    I dont think I tripped over your coke mate, coz I wasn’t moving around in the dark.

    Was wearing a beige colour kurta top if you can rem me. 🙂

  3. October 16, 2006 9:43 am

    Ah, no. I think he was in a pink T-shirt.

    I just wanted people to think “Oh no! Not again!” 🙂 Couldn’t resist. Glad to see that I didn’t imagine the whole affair.

  4. Chaar~Max permalink
    October 16, 2006 9:48 am

    Well I usually can account for my sober self.. 🙂

    Hmm Guy in a Pink T-Shirt… maybe he was after something more than your coke.. 🙂

  5. Sweet Idiot permalink
    October 16, 2006 10:22 am

    Oh no! Poor Rupe! 😦

  6. jezebel permalink
    October 17, 2006 4:45 pm

    who pushed rupe ? must have been chitra.

  7. Chaar~Max permalink
    October 18, 2006 6:29 am

    Hmm Chitra and Rupe make quite a couple I’d say. 🙂

    Well anyways Rupe seems to be ok, he’d fallen from a lesser height this time and what has done him is that he’d put his weight on the screwed up leg.

    Well here’s wishes for a Speedy Recovery!

    Maybe Chitra went to see him with Flowers 🙂

  8. October 19, 2006 6:58 am

    heard sundays show was even better than saturday. cant vouch for it though. but my friend who had gone to watch it on saturday came with me on sunday as well. she said the adult cast was better.

    but the show was fantastic.stage light and whatever, get a clue on how to do a production

  9. Chaar~Max permalink
    October 20, 2006 5:16 am

    Hmm interesting….

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