A LAUNCESTON teen is bringing a bit of showbiz to the town as he embarks on the challenge of directing his debut theatre production. 

Oliver Midwinter, 19, has lived in Launceston for much of his life, but now he’s bringing the West End to the town with his passion for the performing arts.  

From an early age, Oliver has taken an interest in performing and telling stories. “Through primary school, I spent much of my time with Oksigen Theatre, a Launceston-based performing arts group who created yearly shows performed in the town hall,” he told the Post.  

“It was only ever a hobby until I was scouted by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) when I was 13, where I started to imagine a future career performing and making art. I was selected across the country to join the RSC’s Next Generation programme, a youth company based out of Stratford-upon-Avon. I would frequently visit the RSC and work with professional directors, practitioners and creatives to make theatre yearly. I was lucky enough to perform on their principal stage, the RST in Henry Rebellion Summer 2022, acting alongside professional performers. This was the defining moment where I decided to pursue a career in the industry.”  

Since leaving Launceston College last year, Oliver has spent his time exploring the craft and working with young people interested in theatre. Having worked as a technical designer with Sterts Theatre, worked backstage at the Hall For Cornwall during a Christmas production of Peter Pan, and worked with Launceston Youth Music Theatre, with the aim of breaking into the industry, Oliver decided to challenge himself by creating his own theatre company – ‘In The Bleak’.  

He explained: “In September, I decided to embark on the challenge of creating my own theatre company, and directing my debut production, Tusk Tusk by Polly Stenham. I wanted to harness the raw, natural talent within the young people of our community to make theatre in an area often deprived of the arts. 

“The play explores neglect, sibling love and abuse with a thought-provoking narrative where Polly Stenham really captures the essence of being a young person. I have produced, directed, marketed and done everything in-between to get this performance on its feet and ready for a paid audience. It’s a delight to see such support from the community as my cast of four young people and two adults perform to sold-out audiences.” 

Not only has the production been a success, Oliver has also received an offer to study at Royal Holloway University in September.