Dickens' Oliver to hit stage with a musical twist

Dickens' Oliver to hit stage with a musical twist

Dickens' Oliver to hit stage with a musical twist

 Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist will come alive on stage with all his melodrama with a city-based team set to enact the musical adaptation of the Victorian novel.

Director Ashley Williams Joseph, who gave ‘Oliver!..with a Twist’ first about 26 years ago, will bring back the tale of a child rising from squalor and horror to enter the gentlemen’s society.

Written in the style of a broadway musical by Jollen Bland, the play featuring home-grown talent will have two evening performances on July 1 and 2 at Guru Nanak Bhavan in Vasanthanagar.

‘Oliver With a Twist’ is the tale of the boy who runs away from the orphanage after asking for ‘Food, Glorious food’. Considering that thousands of children in India become victims of human trafficking every year, it is not surprising if the plight of Oliver resembles the tales of many children here.

The play gets its positive twist from the powerful music by Williams, who has given us Jungle Book I and II, Fiddler on the Roof, Cinderella, Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz, Snow White and other classics.

After being sold to an undertaker, Oliver yearns for his mother and asks, “Where is love? Does it fall from the skies above?” He runs away from there to London, meets his companion the artful Dodger and he is taken in by Fagin to “pick a pocket or two".

Good times are short and rare for a child who has lived a horrible life. Music gives an edge to these sharp twists as the innocent child finds himself at the mercy of cruel men all along his life before he is accused of theft and tagged as anti-social.

The play keeps Dickens’ happy ending where Oliver finds his home, indicating that the Victorian novelist’s wishful thinking will endure despite the division of time.

Ashley Williams said he believes in handpicking his cast as well as his musicians. Theatre person Gavin Codeiro, who plays criminal boss Fagin, said working with talented children and musicians has been a pleasure.

“Add to this a fabulous director and I feel like I'm floating on air!” he said.