“When the music changes, so does the dance.”


Jali: noun: a West African historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet, or musician.

Refusing to be defined by a turbulent past, comedian and performer Oliver Twist uses his exceptional storytelling abilities to reflect on his time as a refugee and to unpack what his life looks like now.

In this one-person show that is as delicately told as it is captivating, Oliver uses personal anecdotes, drama and humour as a powerful antidote to trauma.

Originally part of Griffin’s 2020 Season, Jali makes a splash in 2021, tapping into feelings of isolation and hopelessness, and transforming them into a story that is clear, resilient and bright.

Jali is a vibrant and emotional journey that patiently proves there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Want to go deeper? View the online program

Content Warning
Jali contains descriptions of guns, weapons and references to violence. Smoke/Haze is used during the show.

Cast & Creatives

Director Erin Taylor
Dramaturgy Phil Spencer & Erin Taylor
Designer Kelsey Lee
Composer Chrysoulla Markoulli
Stage Manager Jennifer Jackson
Producer Emma Diaz
With Oliver Twist

Performance Times

Season 16 – 29 March

Performance Times
Monday – Friday 7pm
Saturday 1pm & 7pm

Run Time
60 Minutes

Please note, there is a complete lock-out on all performances and latecomers won’t be admitted, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to us, grab a drink, and get settled.

All $40


2021 Subscription

Full $35
Three Pack (Special Events & Griffin Lookout) $99

Meet Oliver Twist

“when the music changes, so does the dance” | Poem by Oliver Twist


“The venue feels full of life, warmth, and vitality—and it’s all because of Twist. He is charismatic and quick-witted; we all seem to lean collectively forward in our to listen closely and well. This is why we came back to the theatre.” ★★★★ Cassie Tongue, Sydney Morning Herald

“His natural stage presence, his ability to connect with his audience, and his excellent timing enable him to hold our attention for the duration of the show. He can start a story lightly, then suddenly reveal the pain behind it.” ★★★★ Ian Dickson, Australian Book Review

“Find an evening hour in your week, and fill it with this.” ★★★★ Kate Prendergast, Audrey Journal

“Twist is full of charm and remarkably at ease with his audience. Consistently engaged and present, he holds our attention effortlessly, able to gain our trust from the outset. Bringing a reassuring warmth to his stories, we feel securely cradled as we bear witness to these first-hand accounts of information we usually obtain, reliably or otherwise, from a deteriorating news media.” ★★★★ Suzy Wrong, Time Out

“Directed by Erin Taylor, Jali flows seamlessly… The focus is very much on Twist himself as he moves around the stage, chatting directly to the audience, and he rises to the challenge. He is a natural performer with innate comic timing and enormous charm. In discussing his life, there’s a lot he leaves unsaid, but what he says speaks reams.” ★★★★ Jo Litson, Limelight Magazine

Jali is an entertaining, educating and enlightening piece of theatre and it is refreshing to see a story of a new Australian being told with honesty and simplicity.” Jade Kops, Broadway World

“There are plays which are autobiographical and which are playable by other actors, however Jali relies very much on the audience’s connection between this survivor and his story. Admiration in equal measure to entertainment, education to laughter and intellectual provocation to belly laugh. And, as constructed and performed, an incitement to empathise.”★★★★ Judith Greenaway, Reviews by Judith

“This is an unmissable experience.” Ben Apfelbaum, Sydney Arts Guide

Griffin Lookout

With an eye on the future, Griffin Lookout champions works by the next generation of exceptional theatre makers.

Artists are given $5,000 toward the development and production of their work, 70% of their show’s Box Office takings, as well as in-kind artistic and producing support by the Griffin team.

Oliver Twist is one of 2021’s Griffin Lookout artists, as well as Kirby Medway & Solomon Thomas.

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