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Twist! at New Wimbledon Theatre

WCTT proudly presents an exciting new adaptation of the classic Dickens novel and a celebration of New Wimbledon Theatre’s proud connection to the first ever production of Lionel Bart’s hit musical Oliver!.

Our autumn/winter term will be a really busy time with Young Actors in Act Two (school years 9 & 10) rehearsing a hugely exciting project, Twist! Here’s our creative producer, Andrew Alty, to tell us all about it:

“Act Two have big ideas this year –  exhilarated by their triumph at the Royal Albert Hall in 2019 we’re once again thinking BIG – and there’s nowhere quite as big as the main stage at New Wimbledon Theatre. Our latest large scale production is Twist! a revolutionary new 21st Century take on the original novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Twenty of our young actors will be involved and we hope to reach over 2000 young people and adults over the course of the five performances. 

Planned and staged in collaboration with Merton Music Foundation (MMF), (our collaborator on Thames Tales last year) the show will be highly participatory with the audience singing along to the songs and – we hope – even dressing up as characters from the story! 

We’ll be spending the next few weeks developing the script with full scale rehearsals beginning in November for the production in February. Obviously Act Two have just begun working on the production so there’s still a lot to learn but expect it to be big and bold with lashings of comedy and audience participation.

We have already approached 45 primary schools inviting them to the show and bookings are coming in thick and fast. Schools are loving the idea that Twist! will introduce their pupils to a great novel and at the same time provide them with an unforgettable experience of live theatre and the power of choral singing. 

Produced by WCTT and Merton Music Foundation in partnership with New Wimbledon Theatre and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England , Twist! could turn out to be our most exciting collaboration yet! 

A new Twist on a classic (George Cruikshank/Wikimedia Commons)

Oliver Twist may be a classic novel, but our version will be created as a contemporary piece of theatre, by young people for young people, giving the children of Merton, from all backgrounds, a chance to engage with the arts. Come along and find out for yourselves on Monday, 3rd February.”

Watch this space for tickets

Twist! will be performed at New Wimbledon Theatre on Monday, 3 February 2020, 10.30am & 1.30pm, school & community groups only, 7pm general admission, & Tuesday 4 February 10.30am & 1.30pm for school & community groups only.

Three of the performances will be for invited groups only – mainly Merton primary school pupils, building on Merton Music Foundation’s successful concert at New Wimbledon Theatre in January 2019, which engaged 1,800 young people across the borough.

There will be a performance for the general public on the evening of Monday, 3 February where all profits will go towards the extraordinary work of both WCTT & Merton Music Foundation. We’ll let you know how and when you can snap up your tickets to this unique and exciting event – and where you can learn your part before the show.

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