Cast Complete for Cameron Mackintosh’s New Production of ‘Oliver!’

The highly anticipated new staging of Lionel Bart’s Tony-nominated musical ‘Oliver!’ has finalized its casting for the co-production by Cameron Mackintosh and Chichester Festival Theatre. This reimagined version, directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, will premiere at the Chichester Festival Theatre from July 8 to September 7 before moving to London’s West End at the Gielgud Theatre on December 14.

This fresh take on the classic musical has been reconceived by Mackintosh and Bourne, bringing together a stellar cast to breathe new life into the beloved story of Oliver Twist. Simon Lipkin, known for his role in ‘Guys and Dolls,’ will lead as Fagin, while Shanay Holmes of ‘Miss Saigon’ fame will portray Nancy. Aaron Sidwell from ‘Henry VI’ joins as Bill Sikes, with Billy Jenkins (‘Les Misérables’) as the Artful Dodger and Philip Franks (‘The Rocky Horror Show’) as Mr. Brownlow.

Newly announced cast members include Oscar Conlon-Morrey (‘Mother Goose’) as Mr. Bumble, Katy Secombe (‘The Music Man’) as Widow Corney, Stephen Matthews (‘Strictly Ballroom’) as Mr. Sowerberry/Dr. Grimwig, and Jamie Birkett (‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’) as Mrs. Sowerberry/Mrs. Bedwin. The role of Oliver Twist will be shared by young actors Cian Eagle-Service, Raphael Korniets, and Jack Philpott.

The young adult cast features Callum Hudson as Noah Claypole, Isabelle Methven as Bet, Lochlan White as Charley Bates, and Harry Cross in Fagin’s Gang. The ensemble and swings include Rachael Archer, Tegan Bannister, Adam Boardman, Bethany Huckle, Ebony Jonelle, Bethan Keens as Charlotte, Danny Lane, Peter Nash, Josh Patel-Foster, Sam Peggs, Jasmine Sakyiama, Wendy Somerville as Old Sally, Leah Vassell, and Matthew Whennell-Clark.

Fagin’s gang of younger characters will see performances from Toba Agbelusi, Zoe Akinyosade, Ben Birch, Finley Burrows, Preston Cropp, Benjamin Dalton, Kylan Michael Denis, Sebastian Elton, Liam Findlay, Rudy Gibson, Stanley Guy, George Hamblin, Lily Hanna, Charlie Hodson-Prior, Grace King, Cooper McCrae, Jonny Niland, Hugo Pechey, William Skinner, Dylan Xavier, and Aaron Zhao. Rudy Gibson, Charlie Hodson-Prior, and William Skinner will also take turns as the Alternate Artful Dodger. Final children’s casting for the London engagement will be announced at a later date.

Mackintosh has a long history with ‘Oliver!,’ having first encountered it as a schoolboy in 1960. Over the years, he has been involved with the musical as an actor, stage manager, and producer. Alongside Sam Mendes, Mackintosh and Bourne first reinvented the show in 1994 with a grand production at the London Palladium, which was later restaged in 2009 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Now, 15 years later, they aim to return to the essence of the original with a more intimate production, imaginatively designed by Lez Brotherston to evoke Dickensian London.

Matthew Bourne’s career with ‘Oliver!’ began in 1994 when he worked as a choreographer on the Palladium revival directed by Sam Mendes. Nearly 30 years later, Bourne is thrilled to be directing his first musical with this new production. Collaborating with regular partners Lez Brotherston and Paule Constable, Bourne is inspired by the ‘poor theatre’ designs of Sean Kenny, which revolutionized the modern musical along with Lionel Bart and the Joan Littlewood Theatre Workshop.

Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, ‘Oliver!’ follows the journey of orphan Oliver Twist as he escapes the orphanage and encounters a world of child pickpockets led by the charismatic Fagin and the Artful Dodger. The musical features timeless songs such as ‘Where Is Love?,’ ‘Food! Glorious Food!,’ and ‘As Long As He Needs Me.’ Since its original Broadway production, which opened in 1963, ‘Oliver!’ has become a cherished part of musical theatre history, winning several Tony Awards.

This new production of ‘Oliver!’ is produced and revised by Cameron Mackintosh, directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, and co-directed by Jean-Pierre van der Spuy. The creative team includes Lez Brotherston for set and costume design, Graham Hurman for musical supervision and conducting, Paule Constable and Ben Jacobs for lighting design, Adam Fisher for sound design, George Reeve for projection design, and Stephen Metcalfe for adapted orchestrations from the original by William David Brohn. Etta Murfitt and Sam Archer serve as choreographic associates, with casting by Felicity French and Paul Wooller and children’s casting by Verity Naughton.

‘Oliver!’ continues to captivate audiences with its rich narrative and unforgettable music, promising a fresh and intimate experience in this latest staging.

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