Keen theatre troupe stages Oliver Twist
Nicholas Harford will plead in front of an audience, ‘‘please, sir, I want some more,’’ as he plays Oliver Twist at Howick’s Harlequin Musical Theatre, this week.
The 13-year-old stars alongside a cast of 39 for the Howick Children’s and Youth Theatre reenactment of Charles Dickens’ work.
It’s the first time Nicholas will be playing a lead role in his four years at the theatre.
‘‘When my mum told me I was just ‘whoa’, I was thrilled. It was crazy,’’ he says.
Director Fiona Bailey says while Oliver Twist has a darker theme than most of its productions, it’s a great experience for her students.
‘‘It’s got a huge array of awesome character roles for students to get their teeth into. It’s also quite nice for students to play people.
‘‘Often Alice in Wonderland and so on are fantasy characters. These are all based in the real world,’’ Bailey says.
The youth theatre group ensures every young actor has a chance in the spotlight.
‘‘We believe everybody has talent and one of our things is that everybody has a turn at a speaking role at some point.’’
‘‘It’s also based on what stage they’re at in their development.’’
The production allows for the children’s theatre to mingle with the youth theatre, who will play the older roles.
‘‘That’s a really good experience for the younger ones to work opposite the more experienced students.’’
The role of Fagin will be played by Nathan Brown, 17, who’s happy to portray the conniving gang leader.
‘‘I’m definitely really enjoying playing him, especially getting to work with everyone younger, because it’s been such a long time since we got to work with such a big cast,’’ he says.
Finlay Shand-Marcusson plays the sneaky Artful Dodger and the most challenging thing he’s found is putting on London’s famous Cockney accent.
‘‘Dodger is a confident, sneaky character. It’s been hard to learn all the parts because I haven’t had a big role before. Having this role has built my confidence and it’s been fun,’’ he says.
Oliver Twist plays at Harlequin Musical Theatre on September 7-8 at 7.30pm, and September 9-10 at 1.30pm and 4.30pm, phone 09 537 4943 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nathan Brown plays Fagin, Finlay Shand-Marcusson is Artful Dodger, and Nicholas Harford asumes the Oliver Twist role.