Odds and sods about the British rock band Slade

Monday, October 22, 2007

Oliver T. – again

As mentioned last month my daughter and I were to see the last show of ”Oliver T.” on October 19. We went and as expected it was a fantastic experience.
We met up with Hanne and some English friends at the Team theatre in Danish town Herning at 7 p.m. and had a good chat before the show started an hour later. Tea had been looking forward to seeing the musical for ages and she wasn’t disappointed, neither was the rest of the audience. As soon as the music started people waiting in line to get into the auditorium began to sway and sing along to “That Was No Lady That Was My Wife”.
I don’t know why, but this evening cast and band outdid themselves. Maybe because it was the last night. Maybe because the audience was brilliant. Or maybe because the original singer Flemming Bang was back, substituting for Allan Mortensen. No matter what, this was “Oliver T.” at its best. It was no longer an ordinary musical but the beautiful bastard child of a political play mated with a rock concert.
I have already told about the story-line, the cast, set designs etc. in my original review of Peter Hugge’s Dickens-inspired play directed by Mikael Helmuth, so here I’ll just concentrate on the music. The 6-piece band was led by the keyboard-playing conductor Soren Graversen and together with Niels Nello Mogensen on bass, Mads Fogt on guitar and Don on drums they rose to new heights as a rock band. Henrik Hjorth Frandsen on oboe and Jon Anderskou on cello joined in beautifully on ballads like How Does It Feel?
Singer Flemming Bang was at his best as well, having us singing, clapping, stomping right from start with Get Down And Get With It. He had us laughing and crying with his multi-facetted acting and charisma and lifted the play to new dimensions in the borderland between rock and social indignation. His little laughs reminded of those of Baron Samedi’s in the Bond-movie “Live And Let Die”, demonic, cynical, but at the same time curiously light and carefree. His touching, light-hearted rendition of Far Far Away at the end of the show left no doubt; this part was made for him.
So far “Oliver T.” has only been staged in Denmark, but could easily translate to other countries. Talking to the English friends after the show, they’d noticed that without understanding the Danish lines of the play they had been laughing at the same things as the Danish audience. The show really has international format and I sure hope it’ll transcend the borders some day – hopefully with a cast, band and staff as brilliant as the ones from the Team theatre in Herning.
After the show Tea and I spent some delightful hours at the afterparty in the company of Don, Hanne, the English friends and all the actors, musicians and staff from the theatre. At 1.30 a.m. we finally said our goodbyes and Tea and I were sure glad that we only had to walk a few steps to get to our hotel! But what a great night we had had. As Tea said, “This was the best night out ever!”


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