On average seven women and two men are killed by their partners each month in England and Wales.
Last night I witnessed a murder.
Add to this the shooting of a suspect,
abduction of a child,
theft from a deceased person,
sale of a child into slavery
and a training school for pick pockets.
Mix in a few song and dance routines and a pub with a decidedly non p c name
and the whole thing magically becomes entertainment...
Yes, last night I took my daughter to see a production of Oliver, and she loved it.
This was no Disney version.
It was dark and gritty, with cockney accents to boot.
The children's chorus were a delight as they sang "Food glorious food" with gusto.
The Artful Dodger was delightfully artless.
Nancy sang with passion.
The Doctor was cynical.
Grandfather was idealistic.
The Undertaker was delightfully melancholic.
Bill Sykes was intimidating, oozing unpleasantness - sadly we have all known someone who made us feel that uneasy. We watched in fascinated horror, as he toppled down the stairs after being shot, wondering exactly how far he was going to fall and would he really make it into the orchestra pit...
Yet as I watched I was aware of the darker side of society that the story illustrated.
Poor Nancy - a victim of domestic violence.
Murdered by the one she thought loved her.
Grew up in a pick pocket gang.
Was it only the proceeds from petty crime that were taken from her?
Where and when did she lose her innocence?
Maybe she never really did.
In my daughters eyes she sacrificed herself for Oliver.
"It's no different to the Bible!" observed the rational one, on hearing my misgivings.
Yes, there is violence galore in the Old Testament,
and turn to the New Testament for the greatest sacrifice of all.
Now that is what I call a twist...