Monday, November 09, 2009


Rather than do the same thing as he ages (and be called an Old Bean) Rowan Atkinson has taken on new challenges, including singing in a big London musical. Critics have been cheering his version of Fagin for, among other things, bringing out the pedophiliac angle of the old man's lack of character, which probably was something the very gay Lionel Bart chuckled about when he first concocted OLIVER.

Critics are also glad that throughout the show Rowan unloads every spare eye-pop and grimace that he might have been saving for a fresh Blackadder special. Considering that the show has the gimmick of a female lead chosen via TV reality show, OLIVER would have failed miserably without Atkinson's star presence.

Perhaps in a year or two, this new production will be made into a cable TV special or even a feature-length movie. It would be a welcome subsitute for the weak movie version that offered the bland duo of Shani Wallis as Nancy and Marc Lester as Oliver, along with the somewhat anti-Semitic job done by Ron Moody as Fagin. In the meantime, if you're curious about Rowan's singing abilities, here's one of the comic highlights from the musical, as nutsy Fagin finds himself "Reviewing the Situation."


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