Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Don't Miss Oliver Twist - casting news...

We are entering that time of year when we are going to start producing our magical festive show for all the family. This year the timeless classic Oliver Twist. And following on from the marvellous and very successful A Christmas Carol, this new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ work is seeing tickets flying out of the door.

At the meet and greet today I met the Director, Josette Bushell-Mingo. She talked so passionately and enthusiastically about the show I forgot that it is still a fair few months until Christmas and got the first tingle of festive spirit. It might be because it is already dark outside as I write this. Josette told me why this show...

Oliver Twist is a story that touches us today, putting children and what it means to be a family at it’s centre. In this extraordinary new version – almost cinematic in quality – we are led down alleyway to street and through the tunnels of Dickensian London. The set is miraculous, it’s like taking a trip to Alton Towers and with live music and twenty one performers we are transported to a magical world that is the perfect Christmas experience.”

I can certainly back up her claims about the miraculous set. It looks amazing [pictures to follow] and many of the assembled company gasped as they say the 'mini me' model. The young people, especially, are going to have much fun exploring and using the set as it is like a playground but like the best playground with doors and tunnels and nooks and crannies. Game of hide and seek anyone?

As well as the charming young people that might be new to the stage or the 'little miracles' as Lizzie our assistant director calls them, we have an experienced and talented cast to play the adult characters. Robert Pickavance who played Scrooge in A Christmas Carol returns to the Octagon to play Fagin. Starring alongside him are Fiona Bruce, Laura Cox, Esther Ruth Elliott, Tim Frances, Andrew Price and Samantha Sutherland.

And a few of the team you might be more than familiar with. Here are a few interesting factoids...

There will be four young performers sharing the role of Oliver, including 10 year old Bolton School pupil Alex O’Loughlin, who appeared in both series of the BBC’s award-winning Life On Mars as the young Sam Tyler.

Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist has been adapted for the Octagon by Deborah McAndrew, who played fashion designer Angie Freeman [who married Curly Watts] in Coronation Street. Her first break as a writer came in 2004 when Northern Broadsides produced her adaptation of The Bells by Leopold Lewis.

Director Josette Bushell-Mingo is also an Olivier-nominated actor, and she knows all about making fantastic family theatre having starred in the West End smash The Lion King.

For more information, including a full performance schedule, or to book online visit the website or contact our Ticket Office on 01204 520661.
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