Members of Genesis Youth Theatre are approaching the final stage of preparations for their next production, ‘Olivia’, and, from the evidence of a lively and entertaining, rehearsal, it should delight audiences and usher in the next generation of talented Wellington performers.
The company – all under 16 – have an ingenious script to work with. ‘Olivia’ is set in Victorian times and traces the steps of Olivia (a female Oliver of course) from downtrodden orphan to stage star. On the way she is befriended by ‘My Fair Lady’s Eliza Doolittle, encounters Fagin, the Artful Dodger, Sherlock Holmes, Ebenezer Scrooge, George Bernard Shaw and lots of other colourful individuals loosely based on a whole raft of real and fictional characters. Olivia’s final triumph as a singer in a new Gilbert and Sullivan show is due to their unlikely but entertaining assistance.
This witty parody by Malcolm Sircom offers the company almost limitless opportunities for practising their stagecraft, not just in performance but in singing, dancing, managing props and costumes too, skills acquired over several years with this admirable youth theatre company.
The show is directed by John Walker who was in charge of a highly praised and exuberant production of ‘Oliver’ for Wellington Operatic Society in 2013. John was also involved with the Genesis Christmas show, ‘Twas the night before Genesis’. Of ‘Olivia’ he said, “We have a tremendous company of enthusiastic youngsters who will make this story come alive.”
John is supported by an experienced, skilled team of Wellington Arts Association senior members to direct musical and dance routines and add technical, costume and stage management backing. He said, “Jo Buck has been a super Voice Coach and has helped immensely with all aspects of singing and accompaniment using the show’s backing tracks. I was so pleased she agreed to help with ‘Olivia’. Mary Lewis is Choreographer and has such a wealth of experience. She was called in at short notice to work out routines that were not too challenging and keep the boys interested.”
Audiences will find ‘Olivia’ funny, clever, entertaining, lively… It should not be missed!
Performances at Wellington Arts Centre, Eight Acre Lane, Wellington on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 22nd to 25th June at 7.30pm and on Saturday 25th June at 2.30pm. Tickets (£5.00) are on sale from E J Teare Newsagents in South Street.