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GALLERY: Orphans storm the Civic Theatre


The Civic Theatre was overrun by Orphans, as one of the most beloved musical theatre shows of all time, Oliver!, opened to an adoring audience on Thursday night.

The monumental production from Hunter Drama features a core cast of 52 on stage – including some of Newcastle’s biggest names – who are supported by 138 children portraying orphans.

They flood the aisles of the Civic Theatre, upstairs and down, singing, dancing and engaging the audience in some of the show’s most popular numbers, including Food Glorious Food, Who Will Buy and Consider Yourself.

Many of the orphans are making their theatre debut and what a first-up appearance.

Everything about this production is ‘big’, including the set which incorporates more than two kilometres of timber to replicate the slums of Victorian London.

The score is brought to life by a stellar 15-piece orchestra lead by ARIA-nominated Dan Wilson.

“The orchestration by the late William David Brohn is spectacular to hear in the magnificent Civic Theatre,” he said.

“It’s wonderful that audiences get to listen to a fully live orchestra in the pit.

“It is a huge score and every one of the 15-member orchestra works incredibly hard in this show.”

Oliver! has won multiple Tony and Olivier Awards and is one of the few musicals to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

It is widely-hailed as a true theatrical masterpiece by actors and audience members alike.

The Hunter Drama production stars Drew Holmes as Fagin, Marty Worrall as Bill Sikes, Alicia Paterson as Nancy and introduces Noah Lane as Oliver and Jude Schillert as the irrepressible Artful Dodger.

It also features one show-stealing bull terrier called Rusty in the role of Sikes’s sidekick, Bullseye.

Oliver! has five remaining performances, including Friday evening and matinee and evening shows on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are available through the Civic Theatre website at

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