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Published on January 16th, 2009 | by Christian Cawley

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Whoniverse Stars Reviewed in Oliver!

Walking the boards alongside talent show winner Jodie Prenger as Nancy and Rowan Atkinson as the arch pickpocket Fagin is Torchwood’s own Burn Gorman (right) as Bill Sykes and Davros himself Julian Bleach (playing two roles!) in the new production of Oliver in London’s West End.

While you might already known this, did you know that Cameron Mackintosh’s latest production of the musical (last seen in the West End in the mid 1990s) has broken box office records?

£15 million was taken in advance ticket sales before the opening night on January 14th at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and reviews have been largely positive for both Gorman and Bleach.

Reviewed by Charles Spencer in The Telegraph:
"[Burn Gorman is,] with his baby face and psychotic rage… a truly chilling Bill Sikes"

While in Simon Edge of the Daily Express‘ opinion:
"[Burn Gorman] doesn’t have the physical size usually associated with the role, but with his other-worldly features and powerful voice, he creates the brute menace of this cold-hearted killer"

As for Bleach (pictured left)- well he’s carved quite a cadaverous niche for himself over the years, and Benedict Nightingale in The Times observes:
"Julian Bleach, looking as if he’s slithered out of a crypt in Transylvania"

Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph meanwhile notes Bleach’s dual performances:
"Julian Bleach contributes two brilliant, truly Dickensian grotesques as the undertaker, Sowerberry, and the doctor, Grimwig."

Praising Bleach in the Evening Standard was Nicholas de Jongh who also noted the skill in the Davros actor’s ability to portray the grotesque:
"Only Julian Bleach as the sinister undertaker, Mr Sowerberry singing ‘That’s Your Funeral’, artfully conveyed elements of the sinister, grotesque and comic."

Here’s to a long and successful run, and congratulations to both Mr Bleach and Mr Gorman!
 

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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