Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: A Young Man's Resilience Rings Out With Honesty and Humor In Oliver Twist's JALI

JALI

Review: A Young Man's Resilience Rings Out With Honesty and Humor In Oliver Twist's JALI

Thursday 18th March 2021, 7pm, SBW Stables

Rwandan born Australian comedian, playwright and actor Oliver Twist brings his new solo play JALI to SBW Stables for Griffin Theatre Company's 2021 season. Under Erin Taylor direction and dramaturgy (additional dramaturgy by Phil Spencer) Twist performs his own work that shares his personal history, making for a captivating work that finds light in darkness.

As listed in the program, the noun Jali is defined as a West African historian, storyteller praise singer, poet, or musician and Oliver Twist brings all of this to the intimate space of SBW Stables. Utilizing Kelsey Lee's (Production and Lighting designer) simple set of a black stage dressed with a central two tiered podium, Twist shares his history, from the meeting of his parents, a couple from opposite sides of the conflict that had dominated Rwanda for years, his birth on the same day as a ground to air missile triggered the start of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, life as a refugee in Malawi and finally making a life in Australia. Presented as vignettes in a non-linear sequence, JALI is a text driven work punctuated by the movement around the space, composer Chrysoulla Markoulli's music and soundscape and Lee's lighting design which supports the mood from focused light in a space of darkness and colored tones for tales of tension to full brightness for lighter stories.

Oliver Twist's experience as a stand-up comedian ensures that he has a strong sense of timing and the ability to connect with an audience quickly as he captures and holds the audience gaze with an intensity that helps reinforce the messages he is sharing. He understands the use of silence and stillness to allow people to take the moment to process the information while also challenging them to look away, something that feels near impossible. His style of storytelling blends recollections and loose reenactments with fourth wall breaking rhetorical questions as he proves that, whilst some elements of his experiences are very unique when compared with the general Sydney audience, other aspects of his life are quite relatable.

JALI is an entertaining, educating and enlightening piece of theatre and it is refreshing to see a story of a new Australian being told with honesty and simplicity. It will be interesting to see what Oliver Twist delivers next in his expansion from the comedy stage to the dramatic stage.

https://griffintheatre.com.au/whats-on/jali/

Regional Awards


From This Author - Jade Kops

Jade is an Aviation Safety Training Instructor with a love of Theatre, Cabaret, Musical Theatre, and music and is a committed advocate for the live performing arts industry in Sydney and Australia.... (read more about this author)


REVIEW: The Importance Of Accuracy In Addressing Real Events Is Examined In The Dramatisation Of THE LIFESPAN OF A FACTREVIEW: The Importance Of Accuracy In Addressing Real Events Is Examined In The Dramatisation Of THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT
September 25, 2022

John D’Agata and Jim Fingal’s book is given the live theatre treatment in Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell’s interpretation of THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT.

REVIEW: Kim Ho's THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY Doesn't Seek To Add To The List But Rather Challenge ThemREVIEW: Kim Ho's THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY Doesn't Seek To Add To The List But Rather Challenge Them
September 25, 2022

Challenging the question of what causes a piece of theatre to be afforded the reputation of THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY, this new work from Kim Ho is a reflection on his own work being elevated then swiftly challenged. 

REVIEW: CHALKFACE Goes Behind The School Staffroom Door For An Honest And Humorous Look At The Realities Of The Public Education SystemREVIEW: CHALKFACE Goes Behind The School Staffroom Door For An Honest And Humorous Look At The Realities Of The Public Education System
September 21, 2022

Angel Betzien’s CHALKFACE challenges the flaws with the public education system with hilarious black comedy. 

REVIEW: TITANIC: THE MOVIE, THE PLAY Distills James Cameron's Cinematic Marathon Into 60 Minutes Of Madcap Interactive TheatreREVIEW: TITANIC: THE MOVIE, THE PLAY Distills James Cameron's Cinematic Marathon Into 60 Minutes Of Madcap Interactive Theatre
September 18, 2022

25 years after James Cameron reawakened interest in the famous/infamous unsinkable ship, TITANIC: THE MOVIE, THE PLAY revisits the ill-fated love story with amusing economy. 

REVIEW: Putting the Trans Female Experience On Stage, OVERFLOW Is An Enlightening and Entertaining ExperienceREVIEW: Putting the Trans Female Experience On Stage, OVERFLOW Is An Enlightening and Entertaining Experience
September 15, 2022

Travis Alabanza’s (playwright) OVERFLOW is a brilliantly funny and powerfully informing new theatre work that puts the Trans experience in the spotlight.