Oliver! - July 27 - July 29, 2017

Palmdale Repertory Theatre

 Director's Notes 

    My profuse thanks to the Board of PRT for entrusting me with this production. I am mostly known here for directing straight plays by dead people! So why did I choose Oliver!, a musical?


     I remember as a small child curling up next to my mother while she read to me JM Barrie's Peter Pan. The vivid description of the characters, the island, the pirate ship leapt off the page and ignited my imagination and my passion for classical English literature which has remained throughout my life. The richness of the language can express precise detail and bring vivid pictures into readers' minds. It makes you feel as if you are right there with the characters in finely crafted stories of intricate plot and enduring appeal. Not only Dickens, but Austin, Bronte, Shakespeare, Collins, Alcott and so many others have been my companions. The opportunity to bring to life this beloved classic novel, Oliver Twist, in a form that excites and captures its audiences imagination, perhaps inducing in those unfamiliar with the story a drive to investigate the original and more, was too good to pass up.


     I also, unbeknown to the producers, have a unique personal connection to Oliver. In 1919 a baby was born to an un-wed mother. That in itself was a tragedy of its time: a shocking, degrading act that brought shame on mother, child and family. The child was on the brink of adoption when the family relented and allowed the distraught, heart-broken mother to keep her baby. Two years later, when the mother dared to become interested in another man and he in her, the family, whose trust and good opinion she had lost, cast her out. She had nowhere to turn but to the workhouse, where she and her baby were again separated. The story had a happy ending; both survived. The baby did not 'fail to thrive' as was written on so many death certificates of incarcerated children whose only crime was poverty. The mother was not driven to insanity or depression by prolonged internment in squalid, harsh conditions. They were both rescued by the man who married the mother, adopted the baby, and raised her and five subsequent children. That baby was my mother.


            I am proud to present to you the accomplishment of my art and work to tell the story of an unfortunate child, who, against all odds, found a happy ending; and to tell it in the form of this enduring, memorable musical. I dedicate my work to the memory of my beloved Mum and Nan.


Glynis Fuller



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