Oliver! JR a toe-tapping delight

December 1, 2023

St Patrick’s College has delighted audiences with the staging of its first junior production, Oliver! JR.

The College presented Lionel Bart’s famous rags to riches tale from Charles Dickens at Phoenix School Theatre in November.

Thirty-five students from Years 7 to 9 took to the stage after eight weeks – and almost 70 hours – of rehearsals.

Two evening shows and one matinee performance were presented over three days.

Director Sam Bashford-Leger said the College was thrilled to present such a classic production to Ballarat audiences.

Set in 1830s London, Oliver! JR features fight scenes, pick pocketing and even a murder as well as bravery, courage and friendship. 

“We are truly excited for St Patrick’s College to have launched this junior musical to support our younger performers as they trial and hone their skills at ‘tripping the light fantastic’,” she said. 

“We have record numbers of students invested in the show, building on from our hugely successful Spamalot performance earlier in the year. Rehearsals were attended every Tuesday and Thursday (as well as some weekends) to prepare for the show. 

“Whether cast member or crew, the Oliver! JR production team have banded together to support, develop and showcase their talents for an outstanding show any audience will remember.” 

Production team

Director: Sam Bashford-Leger

Assistant Director: Monique Allen

Vocal Director: Tim Snibson

Choreography Team: Sam Bashford-Leger and Jinah Waters

Costume: Monique Allen and Allison Gibson-Snare

Lighting Designer: Fred Wallace