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Oliver! to Tour to Newcastle

Man Behaving Badly's Neil Morrissey and musical theatre star Brian Conley will alternate in the role of Fagin in the tour of Oliver! which will arrive at Newcastle's Theatre Royal in September 2012.

Lionel Bart’s 1960 musical, which played a two-year run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane before closing in January, will open in Cardiff on 20 December (previews from 12 December 2011) playing dates in Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Newcastle, Leeds and Bristol with venues confirmed through to March 2013.

Conley is currently touring the UK in Craig Revel Horwood's Neil Diamond musical Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show. He was last seen in the West End playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, going on to tour the UK with the show. His other theatre credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and his Olivier-nominated performance in Jolson. Conley plays Fagin for the production's dates in Birmingham, Southampton, Edinburgh Plymouth and Newcastle.

In a press statement producer Cameron Mackintosh said "It is 46 years since I appeared in the first national tour of Oliver! and this show has been close to my heart ever since. Little did I know then that I would one day be this brilliant musical's producer and co-owner. Every time I produce the show Lionel Bart’s marvellous musical becomes a smash hit all over again, so I’m thrilled to bring you yet another spectacular new version starring Neil Morrissey and Brian Conley."

The most recent London revival was directed by Rupert Goold, based on Sam Mendes’ 1994 staging at the London Palladium. Goold was joined by two key members of Mendes’ original creative team, Matthew Bourne, who co-directed and choreographed the outing, and set designer Anthony Ward. Lighting was by Paule Constable, sound by Paul Groothuis, orchestrations by William D Brohn and musical supervision by Martin Koch. Mendes’ production ran for 1,366 performances from December 1994 to February 1998 at the Palladium, where it grossed more than £40 million.

Oliver! will be produced by Cameron Mackintosh in association with Southbrook Group Limited and Stage Entertainment UK. Further casting has still to be announced.

Oliver! plays at Theatre Royal, Newcastle from 11 September 2012 to 13 November 2012.


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