Mu­si­cal must-see – with a Twist

Hamilton News - - Front Page -

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.

Photo / Sup­plied

Jade Okey and Courteney Nielsen in the Apoc­a­lypse Lounge pro­duc­tion com­ing soon to The Me­teor.

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