A new version of Oliver with a festive twist


A review from the Christmas production at Hull Truck

When you think about Christmas in Hull, a few things may spring to mind. The beautiful tree in Queen Victoria Square, the twinkling lights around the Rose Bowl Fountain, carols in Hull Minster, festive food at Trinity Market, and the warming aroma of mulled wine filling the Fruit Market. Another top Yuletide activity is surely the Christmas production at Hull Truck Theatre, which this year is a beloved tale about a small boy with a lot of courage.


Oliver Twist has been adapted by Truck favourite Deborah McAndrew to bring a fresh experience that stays true to the original story, which dates back all the way to the 1830s. Directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director, Mark Babych, and with an excellent cast that includes Samuel Edward-Cook (Danny Whizz-Bang from Peaky Blinders), this is a must-see for children who are 7+ and adults of all ages.


The story follows Oliver from the very start, witnessing his dismal birth in a workhouse, being sold into a wicked apprenticeship, recruited by Fagin’s band of pickpockets and thieves, and getting pulled into a variety of unfortunate situations that are no place for a kind-hearted young boy. We won’t give away the ending in case you’re not familiar with the full story, but rest assured that this is a show that is Twist by name and has many twists by nature.


As well as Edward-Cook, the production’s talented cast includes Flo Wilson, Claire Storey, Oghenekevwe Emefe, Lauryn Redding, Ian Jervis and Patrick Bridgman, who each do a marvellous job of bringing to life a fantastic array of hilarious Dickensian characters. The professional company is joined by two teams of talented young performers drawn from the Hull Truck Youth Theatre and the Northern Academy of Performing Arts on Anlaby Road. (NAPA will return to the venue in April with their own production of the musical comedy Hello, Dolly!)


As for the visual side, Hull Truck Theatre has surpassed itself thanks to the incredible creations of Set and Lighting Designer Ciaran Bagnall and Costume Designer Siån Thomas. Complemented by beautiful musical compositions from John Biddle, sound design by Edward Clarke and exceptional movement directed by Hull’s super-talented Jon Beney, this is a vibrant and heartening show that is a staple for Christmas 2018.


Oliver Twist runs until Saturday 5 January. Ticket prices range from £10 to £26 and can be purchased by calling the box office on 01482 323638 or via the Hull Truck Theatre website. With the award-winning Shoot The Bull now running the café bar, why not make a night of it and take advantage of their enticing Dinner and a Show packages?


Also, thanks to Hull Truck Theatre’s commitment to inclusion and accessibility, there’s a touch tour on Thursday 27 December at 1pm, an audio described performance on the same day at 2pm, a captioned performance on Thursday 3 January at 7pm, and a relaxed performance on Saturday 5 January at 2pm. To find out more, visit the theatre’s website or call the box office on the number above.


Once you’ve seen Oliver Twist at Hull Truck Theatre, make sure to pick up their new season brochure, as we guarantee that you’ll, as Oliver says, want some more.

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