Donegal Youth Musical Theatre (DYMT) has once again produced a sensational and thought-provoking take on an old favourite.

This performance of Lionel Bart’s OLIVER! ran for five nights in An Grianan Theatre in August.

It brought audiences not to early 1800s London but to modern day Dublin. The young but commanding cast drew those present into a world of homelessness, poverty and hunger.

It was a chilling reminder that this was as real for people in Ireland now as it was in London when Charles Dickens was inspired to write his famous novel, Oliver Twist.

The opening scene moved from a decadence-filled First Communion celebration to the despair of those begging for food on the street.


Ethan Barron put in a huge performance as Oliver along with Sadbh Breathnach as Dodger. Cian Judd’s tremendous portrayal of Fagin showed a kind-hearted but troubled man struggling to hold on to his dreams while trapped in a life of poverty, addiction and petty crime.

Fagin, Nancy and Sikes

Anna Gallagher was a powerhouse in the role of Nancy, desperate to protect young, vulnerable Oliver from her ruthless lover Bill Sikes played by Conor White.

Under a creative team led by AIMS award-winning director Séimí Campbell, the entire cast  contributed to an unforgettable production. It was at times heart-breaking, menacing and violent; at other moments funny, tender and sublime.

This production of OLIVER! took the dark underbelly of Irish society and placed it centre stage.

And all this was achieved with just three weeks of intensive rehearsals and masterclasses.

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