CONSIDER yourself at home with the award-winning Broadway musical Oliver! at the Koorliny Arts Centre, ideal for audiences of all ages.

Presented by Laughing Horse Productions and directed by Adam Salathiel, the show is based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist and follows the adventures of a young orphan in 19th century England.

The title character encounters numerous setbacks in his quest to find security and happiness, after being sold from an orphanage to a cruel undertaker and then falling in with a gang of young pickpockets.

“While working on a number of shows for Laughing Horse Productions with young performers, I went looking for a similar production that could showcase their talents – but also have senior performers to help guide the younger ones,” Salathiel said.

Oliver! met that requirement and, after listening to the music, how can someone not fall in love with Oliver asking Where Is Love? or tap their toe to Oom-Pah-Pah?

“It’s one of those shows that everyone can enjoy, despite it being set in the dark macabre world of 19th century London.

“It has some quite dark moments but also some amazing touches of love and compassion that will take audiences on an amazing emotional roller coaster journey.”

Salathiel said his initial concerns were casting the child roles, such as Oliver and the Artful Dodger – but this changed once into rehearsals.

“I’m now concerned about the adults and making sure they keep up with the youthful exuberance and passion for learning new routines and songs the younger performers have!” he said.

“It’s amazing how quickly the performers learn new dances and songs, breathing life into their characters and engaging with other cast members with a willingness to learn that makes my role as the director so much easier.

“My main challenge is drilling the 19th century London costuming and speech into the actors and not allowing them to sound too modern.”

First performing as a 10-year-old, Salathiel has been an actor, director, producer and lighting and sound operator with a diverse range of metropolitan and regional theatre companies.

His current involvement is with Laughing Horse Productions where he has directed The Pirates of Penzance, Kecks, Shirley Valentine, Cut It Out, Backstage and Once Upon A Mattress.

Salathiel has also scored several awards and nominations over the years for best supporting actor, director, production, stage manager, costumes and set.

Oliver! appealed because it’s one of those productions that everyone knows,” he said.

“From the moment Oliver utters those time-immortal words ‘Please sir, can I have some more?’ until the final scene, audiences will be transported back to the old streets of London.”

Oliver! plays at 7.30pm July 12, 13, 19 and 20 with 2pm matinees July 13 and 20. Tickets are $25, $23 concession and $20 children – book at https://koorliny.com.au/oliver or on 9467 7118.

The Koorliny Arts Centre is on Sulphur Road, Kwinana.

*All photos were shot on location at Smirks Cottage, thanks to the Kwinana Heritage Group.