Tackling musical Oliver!

The youngsters of Durrington Theatrical Society Youth tackle the full adult version of the musical Oliver! from September 5-7 at 7.30pm and on Saturday, September 8 at 2.30pm at The Barn Theatre, Field Place.

“It’s nothing cut down for the kids,” says director Julie Jordan who is delighted at the way it is coming together, with a cast of around 30, aged from six to 18.

“We haven’t done Oliver! for eight years, and I thought it was time to do it again. You also have to have the right quality of children. You have got to have the right age group – and we did. You have got to look at who you have got.”

The pleasure is the sheer colour of the show; plus the fact that it is one of the great favourites.

“We do go through a fairly simple audition process. We gradually whittle it down. You have to start with the singing, and you go through the dialogue, and then you find the right ones – or the ones that have got the potential to do it. Some you have to really work with; some have got natural flair.”

Julie’s point is that it is not just about the best; she’s keen to accept pretty much anyone. For Julie, it’s just as much about seeing potential and then developing it. With that comes confidence, one of the great gains the youngsters make by becoming involved.

“A lot of our youngsters do go on to do other things or just grow out of wanting to do it, but we have got an awful lot that continue into the adult company or go into the panto that we do.”

The youth theatre does one show a year: “But when we do the panto, if we need young people or children, we can ask them to come in. Some of them also come into the play that we do once a year as well.”

Tickets £10/£9 from 01903 872073.