Full company announced for Chichester Festival Theatre and Cameron Mackintosh’s brand new production of Lionel Bart’s iconic musical

Full company announced for Chichester Festival Theatre and Cameron Mackintosh’s brand new production of Lionel Bart’s iconic musical

As rehearsals started this week, the full cast has been announced for the spectacular new production of Lionel Bart’s iconic musical OLIVER!, premiering at Chichester Festival Theatre, produced in association with Cameron Mackintosh, from 8 July – 7 September. The show has been reconceived by director and choreographer Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh, and will transfer to London’s Gielgud Theatre from 14 December.

Joining the previously announced Simon Lipkin (Guys and Dolls, Avenue Q) as Fagin, Shanay Holmes (Miss Saigon, The Bodyguard) as Nancy, Aaron Sidwell (Henry VI, Wicked) as Bill Sikes, Billy Jenkins (Les Misérables, BBC’s Dodger) as the Artful Dodger and Philip Franks (The Rocky Horror Show, Witness for the Prosecution) as Mr Brownlow, are: Oscar Conlon-Morrey (Mother Goose, Only Fools and Horses The Musical) as Mr Bumble; Katy Secombe (The Music Man, Les Misérables) as Widow Corney; Stephen Matthews (Strictly Ballroom, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Mr Sowerberry/Dr Grimwig; and Jamie Birkett (Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Mamma Mia The Party) as Mrs Sowerberry/Mrs Bedwin. Forming the young adult cast are Callum Hudson (Noah Claypole), Isabelle Methven (Bet), Lochlan White (Charley Bates) and Harry Cross (Fagin’s Gang). The ensemble
members/swings are: Rachael Archer, Tegan Bannister, Adam Boardman, Bethany

Huckle, Ebony Jonelle, Bethan Keens (Charlotte), Danny Lane, Peter Nash, Josh Patel-Foster, Sam Peggs, Jasmine Sakyiama, Wendy Somerville (Old Sally), Leah Vassell and Matthew Whennell-Clark. Sharing the role of Oliver Twist are Cian Eagle-Service (The Witches, Les Misérables), Raphael Korniets (The Snowman) and Jack Philpott (The Witches, Matilda).

Following a nationwide search where hundreds of children from all around the country came to London to audition, the younger roles in Fagin’s gang are shared by 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 perform as Alternate Artful Dodger.

Matthew Bourne commented: ‘When the groundbreaking original production of Oliver! opened in 1960 the brilliant young cast was led by Ron Moody, Georgia Brown and Barry Humphries! None of them household names at the time but their performances would soon become the stuff of theatrical legend. I’m delighted today to be announcing our similarly brilliant and youthful cast, who will bring fresh life to Lionel Bart’s beloved masterpiece, creating an Oliver! for today, whilst staying true to the joyous spirit of its creator.’

The new production is designed by Lez Brotherston, Matthew Bourne’s long-time collaborator since 1994 (the same year Matthew also first worked as choreographer for Cameron Mackintosh and Sam Mendes on Oliver!) – their work together includes their celebrated production of Swan Lake, for which they both won Tonys on Broadway in 1999, where it was produced by Cameron; and their acclaimed productions of Edward Scissorhands and The Red Shoes.

Matthew Bourne is internationally renowned for reinventing classic stories for his company New Adventures, as well as his Olivier Award-winning choreography for My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins (which he co-directed and also earned him a Tony Award nomination for Best Choreography) and his recent acclaimed direction and musical staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends.

With one of the greatest scores of all time, including Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, You’ve Got to Pick-a-Pocket or Two, I’d Do Anything, Oom Pah Pah, As Long As He Needs Me and many more, Lionel Bart’s stage and film award-winning masterpiece vividly brings to life Dickens’ ever-popular story of the boy who asked for more.

Revised by Cameron Mackintosh, Oliver! is directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne; co-director Jean-Pierre van der Spuy; designer Lez Brotherston; musical supervisor and conductor Graham Hurman; lighting designers Paule Constable and Ben Jacobs; sound designer Adam Fisher; projection designer George Reeve; original orchestrations William David Brohn; orchestral adaptation Stephen Metcalfe; choreographic associates Etta Murfitt and Sam Archer; casting directors Felicity French CDG and Paul Wooller CDG; children’s casting director Verity Naughton CDG.

Oliver! is a Cameron Mackintosh and Chichester Festival Theatre production.

There will be a Dementia Friendly performance on 31 July; a Relaxed Performance on 22 August; and a Summer Charity Gala on 6 September.

Oliver! is sponsored by Genesis Town Planning and Greenwood Wealth Solutions