De La Salle College for its 31st production revived Oliver! For a fourth time and it was as successful this time in the College Hall as it ever was. A fine imposing Terry Brennan set with atmospheric effects and lighting was by Paul Browne.

Gary Power directed with the usual gusto and he was assisted by past pupil Tony Kelly. Vicki Graham provided a busy choreography and Mary Aylward organised excellent and colourful costumes from Nomac and Avril Musgrave.

The strength in this production rested on some strong characterisations rather than big production numbers. Jamie Murphy was a quality Fagin and he was an inspiration to his young cast.

Eoghan Flynn led an enthusiastic Fagan’s Gang with Josh Kavanagh and Daithí Cullinane in fine form. Rachel Coady led a dedicated female chorus.

Barry Kennedy was a bright and suitably innocent Oliver. Glenn Murphy was a complete Bumble, great performance despite dodgy make-up. Megan Connolly was a feisty Mrs Corney and Adam Phelan impressed me a lot as Mr Sowerberry as did Sarah Power as his wife. Sinead Lyons was striking as Charlotte and Paul White was effective as Claypole. Jack Casey was a pleasant Dodger and Chloe McGrath was a conspiratorial Beth. Shane Corrigan was a caring Brownlow and Adam Walsh was a bullying Bill Sykes. Anna Walsh was a considerate Mrs Bedwin and Sean Defoe was a comic Dr Grimwig. Denver Cuss was under used as Old Sally and almost lost on the floor from where I sat.

Undoubtedly the star of the show was Ruth Fitzgerald as Nancy and she brought considerable acting and singing talents to this memorable performance.

Richard Coady was musical director and his put added much to the overall mood of the show but I was too much on the opposite side to enjoy them fully.

Rebecca McCarthy Kent provided beautiful violin work.

In these recessionary times the achievement of the organisers and teachers at De La Salle to nurture and support such quality work is amazing and no doubt a legion of parents helped to further their loved ones broader education.