Colourful characters to light up stage
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.