What the popular press had to say.....
CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "A cracking night of tuneful entertainment...It's absolutely fantastic showbiz."
MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, " Although this is sanitised Dickens, Bart manages to write some thumping good tunes...Rowan Atkinson turns in a sprightly, distinctive performance...Jodie Prenger as Nancy ...acquits herself extremely well."
QUENTIN LETTS for THE DAILY MAIL says, "Rowan Atkinson, playing that warped scout master Fagin, was the eyebrow-wriggling, funny-walking, laugh-wringing supremo of the show...Jodie Prenger, who won the part of the doomed, decent Nancy in a primetime BBC1 talent show, stands up to the test like a sturdy galleon...Anyone who needs cheering up should get along to Drury Lane sharpish and catch this humdinger of a night."
MICHAEL COVENEY for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Well, is it a great musical? Yes. Is Rowan Atkinson any good as Fagin? Fairly good, fairly funny, but he can't sing very well... [Jodie Prenger] Her voice is okay, but she can't act and she doesn't have the depth of lung power to fill a plastic bag, let alone a West End theatre on a nightly basis...A masterpiece is restored, but not in its fullest glory."
BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Jodie Prenger...went on to prove herself a tough, coarse, credible presence with a big, robust voice...Oliver! remains as good and revivable as anything he [Bart] wrote."
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "I felt director Rupert Goold, came up with a traditional, unadventurous Oliver."