Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Castle Players ready to hit the rod for Oliver Twist tour

MEMBERS of the Castle Players will reconvene after the festive break to put the final touches to their winter production of Oliver Twist.

The popular theatre group will tour the play throughout January and February, beginning with a first night at The Witham, in Barnard Castle.

Director Laurence Sach has adapted the play from Dickens’ original novel and the cast began rehearsals in early October.

Ten-year-old Ben Blackie takes the part of Oliver, while Ethan Rawlins plays the Artful Dodger.

“Young Ben has done a really good job,” said Mr Sach.

“Oliver was about ten to 12 years old. Ben is ten and he is perfect for the role.

“This will be the third time I have directed Ethan. He is nearly 16 and is great in the part of Dodger.”

Mr Sach said rehearsals had been going well, with just a couple of final run-throughs to go.

“We take a break and come back on January 3 for two days of rehearsal and then the dress rehearsal on the Friday night before opening on Saturday.”

Mr Sach will also direct next summer's Castle Players production – Macbeth – the group’s 30th.

He said directing the winter show threw up different challenges to those in the summer.

“In winter, you have to take into account you are taking a piece that will go into very difference performance areas.

“With Whorlton, for example, they really don’t have a stage left area which you have to take into account. You have to be very flexible.

“With the winter production, we try to keep the cast to under 15 people due to the types of venue, whereas in the summer you perform in the same place but with a much larger cast.”

Tour details for Oliver Twist are:

Saturday, January 6, The Witham, Barnard Castle, at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 or £8 for under 16s. Contact 01833 631107 or visit www.thewitham.org.uk.

Sunday, January 7, Ingleton Village Hall, at 3pm. Tickets £6/children £3. Call 01325 730250.

Saturday, January 13, All Saints, Blackwell, Darlington, at 7.30pm. Tickets £5/children £3. Call 01325 281487.

Sunday, January 14, Gainford Academy Theatre at 3pm. Tickets £8. Call 01325 733140.

Saturday, January 20, Newsham Village Hall at 7.30pm. Tickets £7/children £5. Call 01833 621300 or 01833 621019.

Sunday, January 21, St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook, at 3pm. Tickets £5/children free. Call 01388 205001.

Friday, January 26, St Mary’s Parish Hall, Barnard Castle, at 7.30pm. Tickets £8 in advance /£10 on the door; 18 and under £6 in advance /£8 on the door. Call 01833 630102.

Sunday, January 28, Scarth Hall, Staindrop, at 3pm. Tickets £8 /16 and under £5. Online www.ticketsource. co.uk/date/429441, in person at Staindrop Post Office, or call 01833 660786.

Saturday, February 3, Whorlton Village Hall, at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 /children £8. Call 01833 627419.

Sunday, February 4, Cotherstone Village Hall at 3pm. Tickets: Adult £8 /Children £2. Call 01833 651980.

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