Energy, enthusiasm, vitality and virtuosity are the key words that sum up the seasonal show from Rowlies Academy of Dance.
It is an all-singing, all-dancing colourful, tuneful extravaganza to get the hands-clapping and toes-tapping.
The curtain rises to a medley from Oliver! Cue favourites such as Food Glorious Food, Pick a Pocket or Two, Be Back Soon, Who Will Buy and As Long as He Needs Me.
Ballads and sing-alongs right from the start with outstanding performances from Lewis Mitchell as Oliver, Stacey Watkinson as Fagin, Nathan Mundey as Dodger, Phillipa Mundey as Nancy and Jake Marshall and Olivia Cooke as Mr and Mrs Bumble.
Then it was on to Cats – and it was a chance for the dancers to strutt their stuff.
The first half closes with a medley from Fame – again great moves, great singing – a perfect combination.
The second half rings the changes – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory recently added to the West End and Broadway canon of hits.
Diva Dancers were spot on as a chorus line of Umpa Lumpas and there was again stand-out performances from Nathan Mundley and Lewis Mitchell.
James Hall as Charlie and Polly Bielby as Grandpa Jo were also fabulous and there were lovely cameos from Amelia Huby, Lucy Nockels and Karina Williamson.
The finale was indeed a thriller – as the curtain came down on the hits of Michael Jackson.
The selection included I Want You Back, Thriller, Man in the Mirror and Bad.
There was something tried and tested in the programme, something modern and new – it made for an exciting mix.
Song, dance, drama, comedy – it’s all included in the magical, musical mashup.
It runs each Saturday at the St Thomas Street theatre until Saturday August 30 with performances at 7.30pm.
Review by Sue Wilkinson