Street dance meets street urchins in Tony Adigun’s Oliver Twist inspired origin story, Fagin’s Twist. Taking a different approach to the classic Dicken’s tale, Adigun looks back to Fagin and Bill Sykes younger years, from their first meeting in a workhouse to the starting up of a lucrative family of pickpockets before a certain character appears on the scene – and in this piece of dance theatre, young Oliver isn’t quite so innocent.
Joshua James Smith is excellent as Fagin, with his creeping long limbs and outstretched fingers. Aaron Nuttall as the Artful Dodger does well as our narrator too, filling in the blanks in the choreography with quick clarifying words. In the scenes with the other pickpockets, his skill stands out, and he performs with a definitive charm. The structural rotating set is utilised well, becoming workhouse cells, a warehouse home and crossing alleyways with a simple spin.
Some moments of monologue, particularly one performed by James Smith, work well and add to the effect of the piece as a whole. Others seem a little strained, and give the impression of a lack of faith in the choreography, which actually carries the narrative just fine on its own.
Although perhaps not the most revolutionary plot, Fagin’s Twist is an entertaining and well executed work of dance theatre with some excellent choreography and particularly skilled and charismatic performers.
Words: Chiara Margiotta
Fagin’s Twist, Zoo Southside, Aug 20-27, 1pm