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By Mandy Oakham

Time is running out to catch the mega successful, local production of Oliver at GPAC.
If you want to consider yourself a member of the adoring crowds who have already enjoyed this show which delivers a twist on this much-loved classic, then you will have to catch the last shows this Friday night, Saturday matinee or Saturday night.
Geelong people have been asking for more of this big and bold production with more than 6000 people seeing the musical so far in the past two weeks.
A cast of 84 fill the stage at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, recreating Charles Dickens’ classic story of cast-away orphan Oliver Twist and his struggles to find some “Food Glorious Food”, as well as his place in the world.
“The response from Geelong has been absolutely mind blowing, and it has has been an absolute honour to be staging Geelong’s largest musical in years,” managing director David Greenwood said.
“We wanted to take the whole production to a whole new level while still delivering the old favourite songs and script that people know and love.
“We tried to create something new with a revolving stage which allowed us to create real differences between night and day, as well as new, vibrant costumes which have been completely re-imagined by Maxine Urquhart .”
The first two weeks of performances have been hailed by Stage Whisper and Geelong Entertainment (Theatre Critics) as “picturesque”, even down to the foggy street scenes and midnight smells of London.
Mr Greenwood said that the amazing generosity of Geelong audiences would have long term impact on growing the local arts community.
“We have decided that we want to give back to the community, and we will be turning the profits of this production back into the arts community by giving scholarships to local school students,” he said.
CenterStage Geelong was recently named the largest amateur theatre company in Australia, and has its eyes firmly set on the next milestone of taking their first show on tour with a possible performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne.
Oliver is onstage until 29 July at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are still available via www.gpac.org.au or 52251200.

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