Life story

An actor with a turbulent past tells the story of his life at QPAC

Rwandan-born comedian and performer Oliver Twist will reflect on his time as a refugee and unveil what his life is like now in the dark comedy JALI, which will be presented at the APQ’s Cremorne Theater from October 13-16, 2021.

The acclaimed solo show is as delicately told as it is captivating, with Twist using personal anecdotes, drama and humor as a powerful antidote to trauma.

After being developed with the Griffin Theater Company in Sydney, JALI was established in early 2021 with rave reviews and a sold-out season.

The actor said:

He was truly honored to play JALI at QPAC, as he first arrived as a refugee.

Said Twist.

Queensland remains my new home wherever I go. I love that we have been resettled here, that Queensland and Brisbane are peaceful for me, which is important for people fleeing conflict, including myself.

Vibrant meaning is at the heart of the show, painting beautiful and ugly moments that occur in Rwanda, Malawi and here in Australia. I am delighted to take people on a journey with my story – stories shared by many ex-refugees and current refugees.

Fleeing the Rwandan civil war at the age of four, Twist spent his childhood in Malawi, first in a refugee camp, then in the town where his mother and father opened a small grocery store.

After being accepted into the Australian Government Refugee Home, the family arrived in Ipswich in 2014 to start a new life.

By the age of 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 quickly became a regular at the Sit Down Comedy Club in Brisbane and Based Comedy on the Gold Coast.

In 2017, he participated in the RAW Comedy Competition and qualified for the national final in Melbourne. This sparked a move to Sydney, where he started telling stories in a new way, and within a week of arriving he had written JALI (i.e. historian, storyteller, singer of praise, poet or West African musician).

Sydney Morning Herald:

Twist is a star… that’s why we came back to the theater.

Flagship magazine:

A natural performer with innate comedic timing and enormous charm.


Season details

Location: Cremorne Theater
Date: Oct. 13-16, 2021

For more information, click here


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