The Cowichan Musical Society presents Oliver!

The Cowichan Musical Society presents Oliver!

Cowichan Musical Society presents Oliver! at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre

Oliver!, a musical based on Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist, shows in Nanaimo Feb. 11-12.

Audience members will feel like they are on the foggy streets of London watching events unfold in Cowichan Musical Society’s production of Oliver!, says Irwin Killam, production manager and society president.

The opening scene will grab people and immerse them into the play, she said.

“You literally gasp when the curtain opens,” she said. “I can’t describe it. It’s a must-see.”

The society has kept to the traditional musical story created by Lionel Bart, based on Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist.

The story follows young Oliver who is living in a workhouse for boys. He asks for more food and is kicked out of the workhouse and sold to an undertaker.

Twist decides to run away and starts to earn a living by pickpocketing on the streets.

His travels in London allow him to meet a range of disreputable characters, get arrested and eventually find a home.

The musical recently had three sold-out performances at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre in Duncan. Killam recommends people get their tickets early.

Oliver! shows in Nanaimo at the Port Theatre Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 12 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $35 or $25 for seniors and students available by calling 250-754-8550 or by visiting www.porttheatre.com.

Killam said cast members have been rehearsing since September.

“Our leads are amazing. We do have an outstanding cast,” she said. “Our sets are amazing and a lot of the costumes are custom made.”

Cowichan Musical Society relies on volunteers for every aspect of its production from set building to acting.

“It’s a big commitment from everybody,” said Killam.

The play has 17 families involved in the production both onstage and behind the scenes.

This year the society is celebrating its 35th anniversary. The society formed in the Cowichan Valley in 1982 with a mandate to preserve live musical theatre.

For more information about the society, please go to cowichanmusicalsociety.bc.ca.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com