Russ Abbot, who last year stepped in as a temporary replacement for the injured Rowan Atkinson, returned to the role of Fagin last night at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Abbot, who also starred in Sam Mendes' 1994 staging at the London Palladium, takes over from fellow comedian Griff Rhys Jones, and plays opposite Kerry Ellis as Nancy and Steven Hartley as Bill Sykes. 

Oliver!, which broke box office records by taking over £15million in advance sales, is directed by Rupert Goold, based on Sam Mendes’ 1994 production. The new version is currently booking until 26 February 2011.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF RUSS ABBOT's 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.