Colour­ful char­ac­ters to light up stage

Northern News - - OUT & ABOUT - JENNY LING

It’s a clas­sic tale of tragedy, mur­der, ad­ven­ture love and hope - and the Kerik­eri The­atre Com­pany can’t wait to per­form it to Far North au­di­ences.

Oliver! is sched­uled for seven per­for­mances at the Turner Cen­tre, from July 11 to 15. The fam­ily favourite mu­si­cal based upon the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dick­ens fea­tures a cast of 46 lo­cals in­clud­ing school chil­dren, teenagers and adults aged from four to 70.

They’ll play a host of colour­ful char­ac­ters in­clud­ing the Artful Dodger, Fa­gin, Bill Sykes, Old Sally, Dr Grimwig and Mr Bum­ble.

Spokesper­son Mal­colm McMil­lan - who plays ar­che­typal English­man Mr Brown­low - says it’s a won­der­ful tale of ad­ven­ture, and a search for love for young, or­phaned Oliver as he nav­i­gates Lon­don’s un­der­world of theft and vi­o­lence while search­ing for a fam­ily and a home.

‘‘The sto­ry­line will ap­peal to ab­so­lutely ev­ery­body young and old, be­cause it’s got mes­sages in there about good and evil, it’s got sad­ness but it’s got a warm out­come,’’ he says.

‘‘It takes you through Dick­en­sian Lon­don with lots of fa­mous songs that ev­ery­one would recog­nise .... time­less favourites Where is Love, Con­sider Your­self, You’ve Got to Pick a and Pocket or Two the Sit­u­a­tion.’’

Lucy Houtas, from Taipa, is all set to play Nancy. Orig­i­nally from Lon­don, she stud­ied at the Lon­don School of Mu­si­cal The­atre and made her West End de­but in Walt Dis­ney’s Beauty and the I’m Re­view­ing Beast. She says she is de­lighted to be mark­ing her first foray back on the stage in some time.

Kaikohe’s Will Hen­ley - who plays Bill Sykes - has ap­peared in many North­land Col­lege mu­si­cals and at­tended North­land Youth The­atre run by Alan Palmer in Whangarei. McMil­lan says re­hearsals have been fan­tas­tic, with ev­ery­one prac­tis­ing three times a week since May.

‘‘I ab­so­lutely love the at­mos­phere of be­ing part of the Kerik­eri The­atre Com­pany. I’ve done a lot of plays up here in the Far North, so it’s nice at my age to still be in­volved.’’

❚ The shows are at 7pm, with mati­nees on July 12 & July 15 at 2pm. Tick­ets $28 adults, $15 stu­dents/kids. Con­tact turn­er­centre.co.nz or 09 407 0260.

Grace Camp­bell, Casey Roberts, Lena Huia Booth and Nina Beck­mann look out for vagabonds and thieves.

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