G&S Society Stages New Production of OLIVER! at the Arts Theatre, Now thru 7/27

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, the G&S Society are staging a new production of the classic musical OLIVER! Helmed by the multi-award winning production team of David Lampard (director / designer) and Peter Johns (musical director) the production boasts of cast of 50, including a collection of Adelaide's most talented up and coming youngsters - and one dog.

"They say never work with kids and animals - but we like a challenge", said Lampard, who has just completed directing and designing the national tour of Amity Dry's Mother Wife and the Complicated Life. "And that challenge extends to a massive moving set, masses of intricate costumes and some massively complicated projection work - this is a massive show!"

The adult cast includes a host of Adelaide's most talented performers, with an impressive bunch of professionals filling all the coveted roles including Rod Schultz (Co-Opera) as Fagin, Paul Talbot (Next To Normal) as Bill Sykes, Emma Bargery (Next To Normal) as Nancy, Bev Shean (Simon Gallaher's The Mikado) as Widow Corney, John Greene (State Opera's The Mikado) as Mr Bumble, amongst other State Opera, Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Co-Opera performers.

Sharing the role of Oliver - are Jack Raftopolous and Harry Fiedler (both played Colin Craven in The Secret Garden in Feb 2013), and Dodger will be played alternately by Connor Olsson-Jones (Ode to Nonsense) and newcomer Isaiah Fabbro.

"This is a fabulous opportunity for a group of young performers to work side by side with some excellent Adelaide talent", said Paul Talbot, President G&S Society.

"For a long time the G&S Society has been a training ground for future professionals. In recent memory these have included national and interNational Singers and performers such as Hugh Sheridan (Packed to the Rafters) Sarah Lloyd (The Voice 2012), Luke Kennedy (The Voice 2013), Johanna Allen (Wicked!), Benjamin Rasheed (Opera Australia) and Nic Lester (renowned Australian baritone)."

The G&S Society is also pleased to announce their partnership with local charity Kick Start for Kids. The 2013 production of Oliver will be directly supporting the valuable organisation by raising money, providing breakfast and mentoring to SA children in need.

Kick Start for Kids is the only South Australian charity that provides a breakfast and lunch program for under-privileged children in South Australia.

Ian Steel, founder of the charity, decided to act on the heartbreaking social issue after mentoring young children in schools and noticing their poor behavior and lack of ability to learn. After researching the issue he discovered that many of the problems were caused by hunger. Hundreds of children are being sent to school without any food and these children (as young as 5) are lucky to consume 1 snack per day.

Research shows that a healthy breakfast is imperative to a child's development in their education.

Kick Start for Kids started from very humble beginnings with Ian and his family making sandwiches and delivering the breakfast & lunches to several schools in SA. With the support of the community Ian now has a team that deliver 5000 breakfasts per week and emergency lunches to schools in SA.

The story of Oliver is well known and remarkably everyone recalls Oliver asking for more food. The G&S Society hopes that by supporting Kick Start for Kids that no child goes to school unfed and that the SA community will get behind the hard work of Ian and his volunteers.

"It is important that the society and the cast of Oliver share their time and energy to assist with a devastating and major social issue that exists in most dis-advantaged areas in Australia. Many of us take eating 3 meals a day for granted and we cannot imagine what it would be like to exist without this luxury", said Talbot.

To read more, visit www.gandssa.com.au. Oliver! opens at the Arts Theatre tonight 19 July with 10 performances. Tickets can be purchased online at www.gandssa.com.au or by phoning Paula on (08) 8447 7239.

Oliver! - Written By: Lionel Bart; Directed By: David Lampard; Assistant Director: Amanda Rowe; Musical Director: Peter Johns. Approx. Running Time: 2.5 hrs including intermission. Suitable for ages: All ages.

You know the story. You know the characters. And, what's more, you can probably hum most - if not all! - of the tunes. Oliver! is a true crowd pleasing musical that has thrilled audiences around the world - on both professional and amateur stages - since 1960. Like the work it is based on - Charles Dickens' second novel Oliver Twist (or The Parish Boy's Progress) - the musical mercilessly exposes and attacks the dark social underbelly of 1850s London.

Oliver! was revived in 1994 on the West End, with new music, lyrics and dialogue. Most significantly this production included expanded musical sequences for 'Consider Yourself' and 'Who Will Buy?'. The 2013 G&S Society will be using this version - and will include these extended sequences, that take excellent advantage of a talented ensemble (both adults and children)! Embracing his critically acclaimed dark directing style, Lampard is promising a 'Gothic Victorian Burlesque' - with melodrama and 'music hall' ideas pervading many aspects of the design and flow of the production.

Performance Dates:
19-20 July 2013, 23-27 July 2013 at 8 pm,
21 July 2013 at 4 pm,
20 and 27 July 2013 at 2 pm

Venue: Arts Theatre, 53 Angas Street Adelaide

Bookings: Contact tickets@gandssa.com.au, ring 8447 7239 or go to http://gandssa.com.au/shows/oliver. Ticket prices: Adults $38; Conc $33; Child $25; Group $30.

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