Written by / Lyrics by Lionel Bart and adapted from the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Directed by Bob Petersen

Performed on Wednesday 09 April - Saturday 12 April 2008 at Pentyrch Village Hall


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Oliver! is the musical version of the Oliver Twist story, a novel by Charles Dickens set in London in 1850. Oliver Twist is a young boy who begins his life in a workhouse with other orphaned boys. After asking for 'more', Mr. Bumble, the parish beadle, sells Oliver to a local undertaker where Oliver is treated horribly. Oliver then escapes and runs off to Paddington Green, where he quickly befriends the Artful Dodger, the ringleader of a gang of boy thieves run by a wizard of pickpocketry, Fagin. Dodger takes him to Fagin's home. After Oliver is mistakenly caught by the police for pickpocketing, the man that Oliver is thought to have thieved, Mr. Brownlow, learns of Oliver's sad past and brings him into his own home. Meanwhile, Bill Sykes forces Nancy to snatch Oliver from Mr. Brownlow's house and take him back to Fagin's. When Oliver is sent out by Mr Brownlow to return some books, he is recognised and caught once again and taken back to Fagin's House. Mr Brownlow then offers a reward for any information leading to his safe return. After discovering that Oliver's mother may have come from a wealthy background, Mr Bumble and Widow Corney visit Mr Brownlow to profit from any reward leading to Oliver's return. Eventually, Nancy contacts Mr Brownlow to help return Oliver safely to him and after a dramatic scene, in which Nancy is killed by Sykes, Oliver is rescued.

NODA Review of Oliver!

In an impressive and taut production by Bob Petersen, the Pentyrch Village Hall was transformed to the bleakness of a workhouse and Dickensian London for the sombre tale of the orphan Oliver Twist, Fagin and his pick-pocketing gang. The grimness of the orphanage was soon filled with bright-eyed characters as the youngsters pleaded 'Food, Glorious Food' and later with their enthusiasm and enjoyment as trainee villains, well-rehearsed and precise in all they did. Young Leon Stawicky, touched hearts with a beautifully sung 'Where is Love' as the lad who wanted more, the fragile orphan Oliver, whose future was soon to be changed by the cheeky cockney sparrer Artful Dodger, played with bags of charm by Matthew Brettle. The romantic intrigue of the apoplectic Mr Bumble, the Beadle and the coy harridan orphanage matron, the Widow Corney, was a nice mix of naughtiness and fun, played by Phil Davies and Amanda Campbell. Funeral parlours are not usually a place of humour unless it is the establishment of the subservient Mr Sowerberry (Martyn Lench), and the gothic vitriolic Mrs Sowerberry (Karen Thomas), with their unpleasant daughter Charlotte (Jenna Claridge), and obnoxious assistant Noah Claypole, played by Richard Jones. A colourful performance by Liam Daley, as a cheery scheming villain Fagin, working well with his young thieving gang to robust and humorous effect. The tragic Nancy was a strongly sung and acted performance by Laura Oliver, and Simon Jones was chillingly evil and sinister as Bill Sykes. Supporting roles were ably covered by George Atkins (Mr Brownlow), Sue O'Halloran (Mrs Bedwin), Iain Campbell (Doctor Grimwig) and Ellie Campbell, delightful as Nancy's young friend, Bet. Within the limited facilities of the venue and with clever, atmospheric lighting, the basic set worked well and costumes were generally good with the right feel for the period and location. Congratulations to the production team of Bob Petersen (Director), Robert Edmunds (Musical Director) and Victoria Graham (Choreographer) on achieving a fine presentation of Lionel Bart's 'family favourite' adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic.




Oliver Twist                            Leon Stawicky

Mr Bumble                              Phil Davies

Widow Corney                      Amanda Campbell

Paupers Assistants             Gail Alford, Mark Gerry

Mr Sowerberry                      Martyn Lench

Mrs Sowerberry                    Karen Thomas

Charlotte Sowerberry         Jenna Claridge

Noah Claypole                      Richard Jones

Artful Dodger                        Matthew Brettle

Fagin                                       Liam Daly

Charley Bates                       Conor Brewer

Nancy                                      Laura Oliver

Bet                                           Ellie Campbell

Mr Brownlow                        George Atkins

1st Bow Street Runner       Martyn Lench

2nd Bow Street Runner      Iain Campbell

Bill Sykes                               Simon Jones

Ms Bedwin                             Sue O'Halloran

Rose Seller                            Helen Jones

Milk Maid                                Helen Page

Strawberry Seller                 Gail Alford

Knife Grinder                        Martyn Lench

Long Song Seller                 Hilary Evans

Dr Grimwig                             Iain Campbell

Boy from Booksellers         Conor Brewer

Old Sally                                 Heather Major

Old Annie                               Brenda Slaughter

Nightwatchmen                    Mark Gerry, Steve Williams

Chairman                               Mark Gerry

Workhouse Children and Fagin's Gang

Ella Powell, Alice Liney, Megan Dodson, Eleanor Brewer, Bethan Thomas, Bethany Petersen, Lottie Wigg, Dafydd Dodson, Rhys Degnan, Lloyd Degnan, Sean Edwards, Conor Brewer, Manon Griffith, Ffion Cox, Tomas Brettle, Leon Stawicky, Matthew Brettle

Chorus of Londoners

 Martyn Lench, Gail Alford, Helen Page, Heather Major, Steve Williams, Sara Pickard, Richard Jones, Karen Thomas, Sue O'Halloran, Iain Camp bell, Conor Brewer, Helen Jones, Ellie Campbell, Heather Major, Karen Claridge, Hilary Evans, Abigail Dawson, Ceri Rawlings, Jenna Claridge, Fleur Greening, Brenda Slaughter, Laura Hallas, Mark Gerry

Production Team


Director/Producer                                       Bob Petersen


Assistant Director                                       Anne Morris


Musical Director                                          Robert Edmunds


Choreographer                                            Victoria Graham


Stage Manager                                             Wayne Brewer


Assistant Stage Manager / Properties   Raynor Phinnemore, Nathan Brown


Set Design & Construction                      Rhys Stapleton, Wayne Brewer, Raynor Phinnemore, Josh Cripp, , Nathan Brown


Lighting                                                         Wayne Brewer


Sound                                                            Nathan Brown


Wardrobe Mistresses                                Jan Stapleton, Ros Jones


Business Manager                                     Richard Jones


House Manager                                          Bob Petersen


Bar Manager                                                Ray Claridge


House Staff                                                  Members and Friends of Hilltop


Box Office                                                    Brenda Slaughter