Some more music theatre, please


More please: Billy Atta, as Oliver, asks the question with the rest of the cast of Astral Theatre’s production of Oliver. Picture: Yanni

AUSTRAL is a name synonymous with presenting musical theatre in Rosebud.

Now in its 35th year, the production company is bringing a classic favourite to the stage. Oliver, directed by Emma Webster and starring a cast of amateur talent from near and far, is a story of musical delight for young and old.

Ms Webster, a regular at many theatre companies doing choreography and theatrical makeup, has long dreamed of directing a musical and has loved her directorial debut with Astral. “I’ve been involved in a lot of shows over the years, and this is by far my favourite to date,” she said.

The 50-strong cast ranging in age from six-85 includes 20 children. Seasoned performers take the stage with first timers and everyone in between.

Off stage, but still front and centre, is a volunteer orchestra comprised of old timers mentoring and playing beside talented young musicians, some of whom are still in high school.

Musical director Gina Reimers loves the Oliver tunes and the energy of the performers. “The cast have approached each challenge with a lot of laughter and enthusiasm and I thank them for their hard work,” she said.

Oliver opens on Friday 7 September, and runs on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday matinees until Sunday 16 September.

Tickets are available at or by calling Astral’s president Brendan Croft 0468 892 572.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 21 August 2018