Musical must-see – with a Twist
Local theatre company Apocalypse Lounge are bringing their new show Artful Dodgers to The Meteor stage in July.
Adapted from the Charles Dickens classic, the show is Dickens with a twist but not the twist audiences would expect.
The novel Oliver Twist has been on stage before but never quite like this. Artful Dodgers puts a creative spin on the well-known plot and characters from the original story with some song and dance incorporated to create a musical must-see.
The show follows 18-year-old Olivia Twist as she leaves the orphanage and finds herself adopted by a Victorian era burlesque theatre. While lighter and cheekier than the original, there are also more serious themes being explored.
“At the heart of the burlesque revival of recent years is selfexpression,” says playwright Ross Macleod.
“It meshed well with Olivia’s journey discovering her identity and morality.”
Oliver or Olivia (as known in the show) isn’t the only character to be changed. Other characters get a revamp too, the Artful Dodger is now a cheeky female MC and the thuggish Bill Sykes now Reverend William Sykes, a firebrand preacher on a crusade against burlesque.
“He’s a lot more cultured and controlled than Bill Sykes from the novel but the vicious streak is still there. And being the villain, he gets some excellent songs,” says Macleod.
Along with an original script, Macleod and Apocalypse Lounge collaborated with Hamilton composers Jeremey Mayall and Nick Braae to compose and create the musical elements of the show. Mayall and Braae scored the musical numbers, drawing on a variety of styles from gospel to vaudeville.
Putting a twist on a well-known favourite Artful Dodgers is set to leave you asking, “please sir, may I have some more?”
■ Artful Dodgers is at The Meteor July 19 to 21, 7.30pm. Tickets can be found at themeteor.co.nz.
Jade Okey and Courteney Nielsen in the Apocalypse Lounge production coming soon to The Meteor.