Steampunk version of ‘Oliver!’ coming to Kiwanis Theatre

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Avery Kosik, centre, is flanked by two Olivers, Olivia Hunter and Elliott Millson, who both play the lead role in the musical “Oliver!” a Theatre Kent production, which starts Nov. 6.

Special to The Chatham Voice

Theatre Kent is presenting “Oliver!” the musical, by Lionel Bart, at the Kiwanis Theatre from Nov. 6 to 15.

The heartwarming family favourite brings together a talented ensemble of actors, young and not so young, from across Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex.

The title role of Oliver is being shared by Elliott Millson and Olivia Hunter, both of whom will appear as Oliver in three performances. When not appearing as Oliver, they will be part of the group of orphans.

“Oliver!” is based on Charles Dickens’ beloved tale of the poor workhouse orphan Oliver Twist and the adventures – and misadventures – he has when he escapes the workhouse and arrives in Victorian London.

Along the way, he meets up with the Artful Dodger (Avery Kosik), who helps the young orphan find a home with the sly Fagin (Terry Raisbeck), who puts a roof over the heads of his young charges, who in turn spend their days stealing for him.

Oliver also meets up with the lovable Nancy (Kaitlynn Clifford) and the vicious Bill Sykes (Bill Craven).

The show is filled with musical favourites such as “Food, Glorious Food;” “Where Is Love,” “Consider Yourself” and many, many more.

While local audiences may be familiar with the show, either through the film of the same name, or other productions, they will be in for a visual surprise, promises director Karen Robinet, who also directed Theatre Kent’s production of “The Sound Of Music.”

“For this show, I wanted to incorporate a steampunk theme,” she said. “Anyone who’s familiar with the genre will understand how the industrial/Victorian fusion would work so well for a show like ‘Oliver!’ And, for those who haven’t experienced it before, it should be a fun and interesting experience.”

Also lending their talents to the show are music director Rachel Schwarz, pianist Jim Prosser and choreographer Fregny Lorenzo. The show is being produced by Sharon Jubenville and stage managed by Gene Lusk.

The show opens on Nov. 6 and runs Nov. 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. There will also be a matinee on Nov. 15 at 1 p.m.

Olivia Hunter will appear as Oliver in the Nov. 6, 8 and 15 shows at 8 p.m. Elliott Millson will perform as Oliver on Nov. 7 and 14 at 8 p.m. and on November 15 at 1 p.m.

Tickets for the show are available at a cost of $20 for adults, $18 for seniors or $14 for students. They can be purchased through the Cultural Centre on William Street in Chatham in person, by calling 519-354-8338 or online at www.cktickets.com.

More information on the show can be found at www.theatrekent.wix.com/oliver.

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