OLIVER! at St George’s Hall

More than 150 years after Charles Dickens appeared at St George’s Hall, there was something very poignant about a bunch of Bradford children stepping into the shoes of his workhouse characters on the very same stage.

Buttershaw St Paul’s Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society has done Lionel Bart’s Dickens-inspired musical proud, delivering a hugely-entertaining family show.

With a striking set evoking the street life of Victorian London, and costumes that wouldn’t look out of place in a West End show, this is a bright, well-paced production full of toe-tapping routines.

Highlights included the opening workhouse scene and It’s A Fine Life, and the nice touches, including the dancing corpses appearing from coffins as the Sowerberrys sang That’s Your Funeral.

Well done to a strong cast, led by Rick Whyte as a terrific Fagin – his delivery of Pick A Pocket Or Two was a gem – and talented young Luke D’Apolita as Oliver. Strong performances too from Nathan Hall as the Artful Dodger, Amy Jagger as Nancy, Johnny Hirst as Bill Sikes, Phil Jowett as Mr Bumble and society chairman Anne Tonks as Widow Corney.

Runs until Saturday.