Fagin’s Twist, Warwick Arts Centre, March 13 & 14.
This new look at the story of Oliver Twist is told with amazing energy, verve and fantastic music.
The Avant Garde dance company production includes the characters you might be familiar with – Oliver, Fagin, Artful Dodger, Bill Sykes and Nancy – but not as you have seen them before.
We’re taken back to a workhouse from which two starving boys escape to live by their wits on the street, one seeking love and the other a shiny new pocket watch. It’s only as we reach the break that we realise it’s the youthful Fagin and Bill, and the new urchin they come across is revealed as Oliver.
The second half sees Oliver grow in confidence in the thieves’ gang, and the ending is far from the Dickens tale.
The story is told through contemporary hip hop dance, a brilliantly acrobatic performance reliant on split-second timing as the performers roll over and flip off each other.
The stage set is moved around for the cast to walk along, climb, jump off and in one amazing segment between Oliver (Sia Gbamoi, who takes the character from shyness to menace) and Nancy (touchingly played by Ellis Saul), a table and chairs are used almost as extra dance partners.
The soundtrack is made up of sometimes thunderous, sometimes hypnotic and ambient, played by musicians, several from Iceland and Scandinavia, and is perfectly fitted to drive on the ever-moving dancers. There is though also dialogue, including ironic song lyrics from the Oliver! musical, as the boy is told to “consider yourself one of the family”.
Choreographer Tony Adigun has created a superbly entertaining and clever show which is a fast-moving visual feast.
For tickets go to: www.warwickartscentre.co.uk