I went to see Oliver as produced by the Taieri Musical Society a couple of nights ago. Good show, energetically performed, well cast overall, and in general a good night's entertainment. I didn't get a programme unfortunately (everything had to be paid by cash, and I seldom carry cash) so I can't tell you who played who: I recognised John Sears - he has another hyphenated name alongside Sears, but don't ask me what it is. He was playing Mr Bumble, who looked as though he'd been on a stomach fat loss diet of some sort. Mr Bumble needs to be fat. That aside he was bigger than life and full in everyone's face.
A couple of friends of mine were in the cast: they first appeared as the Sowerbys, and then went onto play all manner of little roles throughout. And the son of one of our friends from church was in the children's chorus.
Because Dunedin is small enough for lots of people to know each other, there were also two people I knew in the orchestra pit, though when I say 'orchestra' that's a bit of a misnomer. The three players in the pit were each on an electronic keyboard of varying degrees of technological complication; most of the time they managed to produce some surprisingly effective orchestral sounds. Occasionally there was a sense that the synthesiser had taken over, but in general the three keyboards proved to be a good substitute for a band of real instruments.
More on the actual musical later....