JALI by Oliver Twist
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.
JALI premiered in Sydney in early 2021 to rave reviews and an entirely sold out season and is now set to make a splash when it comes to QPAC. 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.
After fleeing the Rwandan civil war at the age of four, Oliver spent his childhood in Malawi, first in a refugee camp, and later in the city where his mother and father started a small convenience store. After acceptance into the Australian government’s refugee intake, the family arrived in Ipswich in 2014 to begin a new life.
In a four star review, the Sydney Morning Herald declared “Twist is a star” and “this is why we came back to the theatre”, and the Sydney Arts Guide called JALI “an unmissable experience” and “a wonderful accomplishment both in terms of writing and acting”.