Oliver! - Edinburgh Reviews - Edinburgh Playhouse

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Venue Information
Edinburgh Playhouse

Edinburgh Playhouse
18-22 Greenside Place

Seating Plan


The Edinburgh Playhouse is situated on Greenside Place, at the top of Leith Walk and close to the east end of Princes Street. This is less than 10 minute's walk from Waverley Station, 5 minutes walk from the bus station and on various major bus routes.

Show Information
Booking From: Wednesday, 30th May 2012
Booking Until: Saturday, 23rd June 2012
Matinees: Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm and Sunday 3pm
Evenings: Tuesday to Saturday 7.30pm
Show Status: production_closed
Review Summary
Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars based on 7 review(s)


Latest Review: "Went to the matinee show on sun 17th with sister and grandson. It was FANTASTIC,Brian Conley as F..."

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    Tuesday, 19th Jun 2012 by WILMA Flynn

Went to the matinee show on sun 17th with sister and grandson. It was FANTASTIC,Brian Conley as Fagin was brilliant in the 3rd row worth every penny left the theartre felling like had been entertained well done Mr Conley and cast Can I have more please!!.....

    Monday, 11th Jun 2012 by Tourist

I saw the matinee show on Saturday 9th June and thought it was fantastic. Very well adapted from the West End version to fit the smaller stage (less orphans, participants in street scenes, etc.) but the scenery and performance was easily as good.

The actors were excellent, particularly Cat Simmons who gave a spectacular rendition of "As long as he needs me". The children were brilliant and very professional, particularly Oliver who had an endearing innocence (played by Joseph Bennett).

My only criticism is levelled at the Playhouse theatre itself - most theatres do not recommend / allow children under 5 to attend major shows. Unfortunately this was not the case here and the enjoyment of the show was somewhat marred by children in the row behind us who were clearly too young to be there judging by the talking, moving up and down, seat kicking and squealing toddler. Please review your policy Playhouse !

A highly recommended show, book an evening to avoid younger children though....

    Sunday, 10th Jun 2012 by narcissus

This production was not as good I had hoped with poor stage effects, and an overuse of 'smoke'. Having seen the original production at the Mermaid fifty years ago it lacked the fire and passion of earlier productions. However the highlight of this production must be Cat Simmons as Nancy as well as Emma Dukes as Bet whose skills were not used to their full.

    Monday, 4th Jun 2012 by Scotty

We often go to the Playhouse and thought "Oliver" was brilliant!! Such a hard working cast, the children, Bill Sykes, Nancy and Fagan were all outstanding. We enjoyed every minute and they all deserved their standing ovation at the end.

    Saturday, 2nd Jun 2012 by Maxine G

Brilliant from start to finish. Took my 7 year old he loved the beginning with all the kids scenes, he lost interest later in the show when it became more serious(he was tired too maybe should have chose the matinee) We expected a lot of the audience to be kids but most adults, definately more for adults in my opinion. We always go to the playhouse when we visit Edinburgh, we particulaly enjoyed chitty b b but this was just as good.

    Friday, 1st Jun 2012 by Andrew

As someone who has seen their fair share of theatrical shows over the past two decades, and taken lead roles in many amateur productions, my standard can be a little unfairly stringent. It has to be said that the last few touring shows I have seen, and in addition some shows on Broadway and The West End in the past couple of years, have been a little sub par. It often seems to be the case that a touring performance on a weeknight can seem like a dress rehearsal for the real thing, an experience of going through the motions, tightening any gaps, leaving the theatre goer with a feeling of mild disappointment and a sense that they could have seen better.

That being said, I thought that last night's performance of Oliver! was outstanding. The new production sparkles with a brand new lease of life. Gone are the dreary slow paced scenes and wet portrayal of characters like Twist and the Sowerberies, and in their place a brand new, tougher, grittier, altogether more raw performance. A show about hard labour, theft, double crossing, booze and murder should have an element of dirt to it, even if it is a "family show". There were certainly moments of the show where more adults than children got the jokes and sly innuendos, leaving the children in the audience to appreciate the simpler, obvious humour that kept the performance alive for the quite long two hours and fifty minutes.

We've all seen the famous film, with Ron Moody's fabulous portrayal of a slightly flamboyant aged single man looking after a group of young easily led boys. The seemingly impossible task of performing the role in a different way was achieved impeccably by Brian Connely, portraying a far dirtier, slimier aged crook, delivering his lines in a gruff tone as if they were improvised. Samantha Barks who is now filming her role as Eponine in the late 2012 adaptation of Les Miserables, has been replaced by Cat Simmons. When one reads that the highest accolade on an actresses curriculum vitae is a stint on The Bill, the heart seems to sink. This was grossly unfair, and Simmons' considerable West End experience shows as she shines in portraying Nancy as a woman in love with the wrong man, fully aware of the mistake she has made but unable to resist falling further into his trap until it is too late. Having seen Oliver! more than once, Simmons' portrayal of this heartbreaking story has been the best, most refreshing, and easiest to believe, but most importantly, to relate to.The final notes of As Long As He Needs Me will haunt the audience member for weeks to come, and it is clear that Simmons has many great roles ahead of her.

The show could not happen without the high calibre of children in the cast. Both Oliver and Jack Dawkins (The Artful Dodger) shone in their roles. Oliver can be a thankless role if poorly directed, a wimpy little sap who just wants to go home. This time around he has much more character, more bite, and a spark of fight in him that at the very least leads the viewer to believe he could survive a long walk to 19th century London after overthrowing five fully grown adults. The Artful Dodger, one of my personal favourite children's roles in theatre history, was portrayed with the correct amount of cocky vigour and vim necessary, and for a young man to lead a full roof raising ensemble rendition of Consider Yourself is astounding in itself. The entire junior cast were incredible, opening the show with more talent than has been seen in full adult touring cast companies.

Overall, the Oliver! experience was a breath of fresh air. The cobwebs of the old production have been blown away, and in their place lie a newly polished (but still dirty) piece of art, contained in a mesmerising set design, accompanied by a beautiful orchestra. If you have not yet got tickets, get them now before too many people that Oliver did indeed get some more...of everything!

    Thursday, 31st May 2012 by Maxine

Everything about this show was absolutely fantastic. The singing, acting and scenary is awesome and I urge you to go and see it. Easily the best show I have ever seen at The Playhouse - pure class!

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