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A magical twist on Oliver

British International School, Phuket (BISP) host their annual theatre production “Oliver!” on March 30, March 31, and 1 April.

By Dalia Hilmi

Monday 16 March 2015, 10:00AM

The play is a twist on the classic Broadway musical based on the Charles Dickens novel, where 9-year-old orphan Oliver Twist falls in with a group of street-urchin pickpockets.

The production will take on more stylistic drama devices through various methods such as pantomime, mime and diverse interaction between the actors and the audience.

The play was put together by Drama teachers Mrs Wilkinson and Mr Evans, each contributing their own varied skills to the script. Mr Evans specialises in ornate Japanese style methods, whereas Mrs Wilkinson has gone with the more traditional dramatic style of acting.

The play involves 15-20 main roles, with an additional 20-30 students in non-lead roles and in the choir. It involves students of all ages right up to Year 13.

Lead role Oliver, to be performed by Charlie Greene from Year 9, says “Our director has chosen to use imagination instead of actual props.

“We use bamboo sticks to symbolise different props and objects, a continuing theme throughout the entire play.”

Harry O’Brien who will perform as villain Bill Sikes, says, “The play involves a lot of team work. We are currently spending a lot of time going through the acts. We’re not allowed to rehearse with scripts anymore now that everyone knows their lines.

“In my opinion, the music in the play isn’t like anything that has been done before. It’s different from the plays in the past, mainly because we have a new director who concentrates on abstract acting, as opposed to a realistic style of acting.”

Mrs Wilkinson focuses on the musical production side. Each of the characters will have an exciting costume and makeup, each with their own specialised costume prop. For example, the character of Bill carries a cane, and Oliver switches from wearing poor clothing and being barefoot to wearing smart clothes and a top hat.

Charlie says the play “leaves the audience to interpret it in their own way, especially because of the interesting choices of props and style of acting.”

The imaginary props are held at certain heights throughout the play, which symbolise elements of the mind.

Harry says, “It keeps the audience’s minds active. It’s not something you can just watch, you have to sit there and think.”

Anjalee Syangbo who plays Bill’s wife Nancy says, “We’re not following the movie. A lot of the songs have been changed, the choreography is different...some characters waltz into ensembles. You can see different personalities between each of the characters. You see the cowardly side of someone, but yet you also see their fearless side. It’s really exciting.

“We have also incorporated harmonies into our songs, so the audience can expect an amazing performance,” Anjalee explained.

This exciting adaptation on Oliver Twist is sure to be a phenomenal performance.

With shows on 30 March, 31 March, and 1 April, Oliver! at BISP is open to everyone in Phuket to attend. Adults B100, Children B50. For more information on the show and tickets, visit



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