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Unexpected Twist

Malvern Theatres


Two worlds collide in this powerful Oliver Twisted Tale, where anything is far from ‘chicken and rice’. There’s plenty of ‘Barney Rubble’ and ‘Moby Dick’ Hip Hop, Unexpected Twist at Malvern Theatres doesn’t sugar coat the poverty stricken strife faced by so many on the mean streets of life, where accepting or ignoring dangers comes at a price far more expensive than a mobile phone.

Written by Michael Rosen, we see the overlapping similarities between Shona and her classmates with the classic Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, that is as much relevant today as it was when Dickens wrote this in the 1830s, due to exploitations still prevalent today, right now.

Shona, Drew Hylton, started a new school and is the only pupil without a mobile phone, as her mum died two years earliet and her dad lost his job, so when Tino, Alexander Lobo Moreno, offered Shona a way to have a phone and make some cash on the side, she dived straight in without considering the consequences and started peddling for Pops, James Meteyard.

Shona’s Nan, Polly Lister, suffers ‘the old sunny dancer’ and truths claw their way to the surface, dusting off the domestic abuse that Miss Cavani, Rosie Hilal, suffers at the hands of her boyfriend sees an immense pressure building and pummelling down on all shoulders till the weight becomes excessive to bear. Not everything is as it seems as the fight for freedom intensifies.

What sets this powerful, dark, tale apart from any other production is the collaboration of songwriters Yaya Bey, rising R&B star and BAC Beatbox Academy’s Conrad Murray, with original music an eclectic mix of beatbox, grime and hip hop. There are no instruments on stage apart from the talented beatbox beats from Gaz, Alex Hardie, and Pops.

The duets between Shona and her dad, Thomas Vernal, really tug at the heartstrings and Vernal’s fantastic harmonies and stage presence gel the whole performance together with love running deep between father and daughter.

A powerful re-telling directed by James Dacre and an interconnecting stage design by Frankie Bradshaw, seamlessly amalgamates the classroom with the workhouse but be mindful the struggles lurking behind every forced smile and accept that life is a struggle worth struggling for.

Bring the beat to Malvern Theatres this week for Michael Rosen’s Unexpected Twist until Saturday May 13th, with tickets costing from £11.20. For more information visit malvern theatres or call the box office on 01684 892277.

Emma Trimble


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