"OLIVER !", written by Lionel Bart and presented by arrangement with MusicScope and Stage Musicals Ltd. of New York, was a departure from the company's policy of performing original pieces at the Festival Fringe. The reasons for this were that the company had nearly 60 performing members at this time, so finding a show for all of them would have been difficult. Also these performers had expressed a desire to do a 'named' show. The Artistic Team chose Lionel Bart's famous re-telling of Dickens' classic tale. It proved to be a great success.
The story follows Oliver Twist and his adventures with The Artful Dodger and Fagin and Sykes, the leaders of a gang of pick-pockets. Arrested on his first venture, he is taken in by the man he tries to rob. Oliver's life changes for the better for a while, but soon he is back in Fagan's clutches. Discovering that Oliver is actually his grandson, his benefactor negotiates for Oliver's return. The story culminates with Sykes being killed. Fagin slips away un-noticed and Oliver is re-united with his happy grandfather.
WHAT THE PAPERS SAID
"...it has an outstanding Nancy...and excellent performances too from Oliver, Fagin, Dodger et al." Times Educational Supplement, August '96
".. this ain't half a bad 'un." The Scotsman, August '96