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Cast: Oliver’s Alternate Aussie Nancy, More Music

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The final round of casting has been announced for Cameron Mackintosh’s forthcoming production of Oliver! at the West End’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Among the newly announced members is Tamsin Carroll (pictured), who starred as Nancy in Mackintosh’s 2002 Australian production and will reprise the role in the West End on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when I’d Do Anything winner Jodie Prenger will not be performing. Meanwhile, Sarah Lark, who was a finalist on the BBC’s I’d Do Anything, will cover the role of Nancy as well as regularly playing a street seller in “Who Will Buy”.

Others also now confirmed for the musical’s 75-strong company are Julius D\'Silva as Mr Bumble, Wendy Ferguson as Widow Corney and the three boys who will share the role of the Artful Dodger - Eric Dibb Fuller, Robert Madge and Ross McCormack, who were cast through a series of open auditions held in London earlier in the year.

The new cast members join the previously announced Rowan Atkinson as Fagin and, as chosen by Mackintosh and I’d Do Anything judge Andrew Lloyd Webber as part of the TV series (See News, 27 May 2008), the three boys who will alternate in the title role: Gwion Jones, Harry Stott and Laurence Jeffcoate. Also previously confirmed are Burn Gorman as Bill Sikes, Julian Bleach as Mr Sowerberry and stage veteran Rosemary Leach as Mrs Bedwin (See News, 2 Jun 2008).

Oliver! is directed by Rupert Goold, based on Sam Mendes’ 1994 staging at the London Palladium. Goold will be joined by two key members of Mendes’ original creative team, Matthew Bourne, who will co-direct and choreograph the new outing, and set designer Anthony Ward. Lighting is 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.

Lionel Bart’s 1960 musical is based on Charles Dickens’ literary classic Oliver Twist and, beyond its theatre fanbase, found legions of fans from the 1968 film version starring Mark Lester as Oliver, Shani Wallis as Nancy, Ron Moody as Fagin, Jack Wild as the Artful Dodger and Oliver Reed as Bill Sikes. The score includes now-famous songs including “Consider Yourself”, “It’s a Fine Life”, “As Long as He Needs Me”, “Oom-pah-pah”, “Food, Glorious Food”, “I’d Do Anything” and the title song. The stage production is presented by Mackintosh in association with the Southbrook Group Limited.

In other musical casting news, further company members have been named for Trevor Nunn’s highly anticipated Menier Chocolate Factory revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, which stars, as previously reported (See News, 10 Oct 2006), another I’d Do Anything contestant, Prenger’s runner-up Jessie Buckley.

Now confirmed to join Buckley and other principals Hannah Waddingham, Maureen Lipman and Alexander Hanson are: John Addison, Florence Andrews, Laura Armstrong, Lynden Edwards, Jeremy Finch, Holly Hallam, Charlotte Page, Nicola Sloane and Kelly Price (Guys and Dolls, Chicago and Desperately Seeking Susan in the West End). The cast, as previously reported, also includes Alistair Robins, Gabriel Vick, Kaisa Hammarlund, Grace Link and Andy Morton.

A Little Night Music runs from 3 December 2008 (previews from 22 November) to 8 March 2009 at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 Swedish film and written largely in waltz time, A Little Night Music concerns the tangled romantic lives of several couples in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century. The score includes the Grammy Award-winning ballad “Send in the Clowns”.

A Little Night Music premiered on Broadway in 1973, ahead of its 1975 West End premiere at the Adelphi Theatre. There have been two major revivals since: at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre in 1989 and at the National Theatre in 1995. The new production is designed by David Farley and choreographed by Lynne Page, with musical supervision by Caroline Humphris, orchestrations by Jason Carr and lighting by Hartley T A Kemp.

- by Theo Bosanquet & Terri Paddock


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