Please sir, can we have some more...

The cast sing Consider Yourself
The cast sing Consider Yourself
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MORE? If only that was possible, after a fantastic performance of Oliver! at Shoreham Academy.

Students and staff performed the Kingston Lane school’s first full-scale musical in the new drama facility last week, working with industry professionals alongside head of drama, Jo Shakespeare.

Ken Sharp as Mr Bumble and Jamie Redford as Oliver

Ken Sharp as Mr Bumble and Jamie Redford as Oliver

She said: “I felt that the time was right to showcase the incredible talent that our students have to offer and proudly show off our new drama facility.

“My vision, supported by our principal, Jim Coupe, was to make this show the biggest and best yet and what has made this so very different and special is that I have had the opportunity to work with industry professionals.”

‘Incredible’ was the right word, with every key character displaying star talent and every performer playing their part in a top-rate show.

Mr Coupe described it as the West End coming to Shoreham and thanked the Theatre Royal, Brighton, for donating spotlights to the school.

Jamie Redford as Oliver in the Shoreham Academy production

Jamie Redford as Oliver in the Shoreham Academy production

Among the stand-out performances from students were Jordan Bamford as Nancy, Daniel Walford as Fagin, Ewan Jones as Bill Sikes, Louis Leclerq as the Artful Dodger and, of course, Jamie Redford as Oliver.

Brilliant support from the staff included Ken Sharpe as Mr Bumble, Craig Doughty as Mr Brownlow and Aaron Sherwood as Mr Sowerberry.

Choreographer Lea Hyde was given free rein of the dance numbers, building up the confidence of the inexperienced cast to the point you would never believe they had not performed in a musical before.

The youngsters had the added challenge of having their audience right in front of them, at stage level, with the front row right at the edge of the set. But none of them appeared fazed by it at all, which was particularly impressive.

An added feature was the live orchestra, providing professional quality musical support, directed by Simon Gray, who has worked with some of the biggest names in West End musical theatre.

Mike Medway, a lighting designer who has worked on a large number of shows, has brought his technical expertise to the school and the quality continued with the professional set, which had been hired thanks to a donation from local businessman Darren Crabb.