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Oliver! production sees children stealing the show

PUBLISHED: 12:05 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:06 15 August 2018

Oliver! rehearsals at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Pictures: Charlie Ketchen

Oliver! rehearsals at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Pictures: Charlie Ketchen

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With less than a week to go until the town’s first collaborative community production of Oliver! is performed, anticipation is running high.

Oliver! rehearsals at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Chorus. Pictures: Charlie KetchenOliver! rehearsals at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Chorus. Pictures: Charlie Ketchen

After months of hard work, dreams will become reality for the Seagull Theatre and the Marina Theatre – as the two Lowestoft venues prepare for their first collaboration together,

Emma Butler-Smith, the Marina Theatre chief executive officer, said: “It’s hard to find a musical more popular or well-known than Oliver!

Oliver! rehearsals at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Pictures: Charlie KetchenOliver! rehearsals at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Pictures: Charlie Ketchen

“With so many roles for children as well as adults, it really was the perfect fit.

“And the children, in particular, have been superb. I think they’ve had an absolute blast.”

Oliver! rehearsals at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Fagin on stage. Pictures: Charlie KetchenOliver! rehearsals at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Fagin on stage. Pictures: Charlie Ketchen

The show, which opens next Thursday, August 23, features 35 local children playing a variety of roles, from principal characters such as Oliver and Artful Dodger to workhouse-orphans and members of Fagin’s gang.

Megan Rochford, who plays Charlotte Sowerberry, said: “It’s been great working with such a talented cast, the kids in this show are just phenomenal. “Also working with John Hales has been brilliant.”

Oliver! rehearsals at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Pictures: Charlie KetchenOliver! rehearsals at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Pictures: Charlie Ketchen

John Hales, director, said: “The cast is incredible. We go through rehearsals and they just nail it. We are very lucky to have this unique group of people.”

The show has seen children from all over the Lowestoft area taking part in the production, as the two theatres have pooled their knowledge, resources and skills from pre-production through to completion.

Karen Read, manager at The Seagull Theatre, said: “It’s an amazing example of what can be achieved when people work together and we can’t wait to share everyone’s hard work and talent with the town in what is such a popular show.

“We also have a few surprises up our sleeves to make this a truly amazing experience and night out for our audience, so book now! You may even come back for more.”

Oliver! is showing at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft from August 23 to September 1. Tickets are available from the box office on 01502 533200, or via www.marinatheatre.co.uk

The project has been helped by Making Waves Together, a wider partnership project led jointly by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Waveney District Council which is funded by the Great Place Scheme.

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