Rwandan-born comedian and performer Oliver Twist will reflect on his time as a refugee and unpack what his life looks likes now in the darkly comic ‘JALI’, coming to QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre in October.
The acclaimed one-person show is as delicately told as it is captivating, with Twist using personal anecdotes, drama and humour as a powerful antidote to trauma.
After going through development with Griffin Theatre Company in Sydney, ‘JALI’ premiered in early 2021 to rave reviews and a sold-out season.
The comedian said he was truly honoured to perform ‘JALI’ at QPAC, in the state he first arrived in as a refugee.
“Queensland remains my new home wherever I go. I love the fact we were resettled here; Queensland and Brisbane to me are peaceful, which is important to people fleeing conflict – including myself,” Twist said.
“Vibrant significance is at the core of the show, painting beautiful and ugly moments that occur in Rwanda, Malawi and here in Australia. I am over the moon to take people on a journey with my story – stories many ex-refugees and current refugees share.”
Fleeing the Rwandan civil war at the age of four, Twist 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.
Then 18, Twist already knew he was funny, and embraced being in a country where comedy clubs and open mic sessions allowed him to prove it – he fast became a regular at The Sit Down Comedy Club in Brisbane and Based Comedy on the Gold Coast.
In 2017 he entered the RAW Comedy Competition and made it to the national finals in Melbourne. This sparked a move to Sydney, where he began telling stories in a new way, and within a week of his arrival he had written ‘JALI’ (meaning a West African historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet, or musician).
‘JALI’ will perform from 13 to 16 October 2021 at South Brisbane’s QPAC.
Media Release supplied.