Producing theatre is a hard job. Producing theatre during a global pandemic is even harder. Producing and starring in a show at only 12 years old? Now that’s impressive!
Oliver Alkhair was missing the stage (as many of us are) during the COVID-19 enforced isolation period. He decided to take matters into his own hands, and picked out The Big One Oh! after doing some independent research. He organised the licensing himself, paying for the rights out of his own pocket, and went on to contact both children and adults that he’d worked with professionally to assemble the cast. Rehearsals are well underway for the show, which is set to stream digitally from June 25th to 27th.
Oli made his professional debut as Young Charlie for the Sydney season of Kinky Boots (Michael Cassel Group), and has since starred as Billy in School of Rock (GFO) and, most recently, Charlie Bucket in the Sydney season of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (GFO). But Oli isn’t just a performer – he wrote his first musical at the age of 7, and is training in trumpet and French horn.
Based on the children’s book of the same name, The Big One Oh! tells the story of young Charley (Oliver) preparing for a very special milestone – his 10th birthday. With just a week until opening night, I had a chat with Oli about this amazing and unique experience.
What has been the most exciting part of putting together this show?
The most exciting part of putting together the show was when we started rehearsing with the whole cast because it was really exciting to see that we can do a musical entirely online!
And what has been the most challenging?
It’s been challenging not being able to meet in person and having to communicate only online.
Why did you decide on The Big One Oh?
I was researching ways I could support the arts community, especially the kids who have lost shows like me and I discovered this soon to be released online musical on MTI. There was a recording of iTheatrics performing the show, and I thought that this would be a really cool opportunity to be able to continue to perform during isolation, not only for myself but for some friends and other kids in the industry.
Have you enjoyed working with your friends?
It has been really fun to work with lots of my friends again and to make some new friends. It’s been great to perform with them all and learn this new way of performing together.
Why should people tune in on June 25th through 27th?
This is a really fun family friendly online musical that you can watch from the comfort of your lounge room. In a time where you can’t go to the theatre we want to bring the theatre to you!
Tickets and more information for The Big One Oh! can be found on their Facebook page.