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Thursday, March 12, 2015


(Nkanyiso Shezi as Oliver. Pic by Val Adamson)

The Durban University of Technology starts the year with a musical flurry – staging the iconic Lionel Bart evergreen, Oliver! based on the Charles Dickens classical novel, which comes to the Courtyard Theatre from 22 to 28.

Oliver! with book, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart, is a delicious feel-good tale of young Oliver Twist – and a host of colourful and eccentric characters: his co-conspirator, The Artful Dodger; the patriarch of the gang, Fagin; the sweet and caring Nancy and the evil Bill Sykes.

The Oliver! rags-to-riches formula has inspired countless similar stories – including the much-loved musical Annie. Director Dr Pamela Tancsik has localised it to a contemporary Durban setting – a reminder that this iconic work of literature is as current and topical now as when it was written. Human trafficking, abuse against women and children, poverty, street children stealing wallets and cell-phones resonates with us today, as much as urchins lifting silk handkerchiefs and pocket-watches did in the 1800s.

Oliver! is directed by Dr Pamela Tancsik with musical direction by Madlen Tzankova; set design by Peter Court and construction by Jimmy Alberts and Black Coffee. Choreography is by Mdu Mtshali and musical piano accompaniment by Richardt Wissink. 12 children were chosen to play the orphans. There is a cast of 55 performers in total.

Oliver! will be staged from March 22 to 28 at the Courtyard Theatre with performances from March 22 to 27 at 19h00 and on March 28 at 15h00. For bookings or more information contact the Departmental Secretary, Lebohang Sibisi on 031 373 2194 or email: