‘Oliver!’ brings families together at Roo Theatre

Seaside Shellharbour will be transported back to a gritty Victorian London in Roo Theatre’s latest production of ‘Oliver!’

Based on Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist and music from Lionel Bart's award winning musical, Roo Theatre will come to life with classic songs such as Food glorious food, Consider yourself and You have to pick a pocket or too.

Whilst Dickens’ novel is full of dark themes, the musical ‘Oliver!’ has been adapted for an all ages audience.

“Roo Theatre has always prided itself on being a family friendly environment, and  ‘Oliver!’ is no exception,” director and Roo Theatre president Dr Renee Brighton said. 

Nick Lewis who co-directs with Renee agreed.

“We have made it a mission to make Roo Theatre a fun and family friendly community. ‘Oliver!’ features performers ranging from ages 11 to over 60,” he said.

Renee, along with her daughter Violet, is part of the many families involved in bringing ‘Oliver!’ to life.

Local families such as the Evans, Beavan, Hamilton, Giustiniani, Simpson, Tannous and Ritchie families, all having multiple members involved on and off the stage.

It’s also a family affair for local primary school Balarang with teacher Richard Bromwich and three year 6 students (Rhys Evans, Beau Ritchie and Tyler Cruickshank) a part of the production.

The streets of Victorian England come to life as Oliver (Rhys Evans), a malnourished orphan in a workhouse, becomes the neglected apprentice of an undertaker.

Oliver escapes to London and is found by a larrikin pick-pocket The Artful Dodger (Sam Hamilton), who takes him back to a den of petty thieves, led by the elderly Fagin (Josif Jovanovski).

When Oliver is captured for a theft that he did not commit, the benevolent victim, Mr. Brownlow (Stuart Gyngall) takes him in.

Fearing the safety of his hideout, Fagin employs the sinister Bill Sikes (Richard Bromwich) and the sympathetic Nancy (Hannah Jacques) to kidnap him back, threatening Oliver’s chances of discovering the true love of a family.

‘Oliver!’ is a musical theatre masterpiece, perfectly showcasing the talents of a large ensemble cast as they bring these classic characters and score to life.

‘Oliver!’ is showing at Roo Theatre in Shellharbour Village until Sunday, June 24 with tickets available at roo-theatre.com.au or contacting the theatre direct.