Oliver!

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Oliver! is a British musical, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. The musical is based upon the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

It premiered in the West End in 1960, enjoying a long run, a successful Broadway production in 1963 and further tours and revivals. It was made into a musical film in 1968. A new London production opened in January 2009.

Contents

Background

Oliver! was the first musical adaptation of a famous Charles Dickens work to become a stage hit. (Besides the fame of Oliver Twist, another reason for the success of the musical was the revolving stage set, designed by Sean Kenny.[1]) There had been two previous Dickens musicals in the 1950s, both of them television adaptations of A Christmas Carol.

The show launched the careers of several child actors, including Davy Jones, later of The Monkees; Phil Collins, later of Genesis; Alan Paul, later of The Manhattan Transfer; and Tony Robinson, who later played the role of Baldrick in the television series Blackadder. The singer Steve Marriott (Small Faces, Humble Pie) also featured in early line-ups, eventually graduating to the role of Artful Dodger in the West End production.

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