Rehearsals are entering the final stages down at the White Memorial Theatre where St. Mary’s Choral Society Clonmel are preparing to present Oliver! from 18th - 26th November.
Based on the Dickens novel, Lional Bart’s musical masterpiece will delight everyone with its outstanding numbers. Food, Glorious Food, I’d Do Anything, Where is Love?, Consider Yourself, As Long As He Needs Me, Who Will Buy and Reviewing the Situation are musical theatre classics. Oliver! was the first musical adaption of a famous Dickens work to become a stage hit. The show launched the careers of several child actors, including Davy Jones, later of The Monkeys and Phil Collins, later of Genesis. Oliver! premiered in the West End in June 1960 and in New York in 1963. The Broadway production was a critical success and received ten Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical. In 1968, the show was adapted for film, with a screenplay by Vernon Harris and direction by Carol Reed. It starred original Fagin Ron Moody with Jack Wild (The Artful Dodger), Shani Wallis (Nancy), Oliver Reed (Bill Sikes) and featured Mark Lester as Oliver. The motion picture won six Academy Awards including Best Picture and received nominations for both Ron Moody and Jack Wild. The 2009 London revival featured Rowan Atkinson in the role of Fagin. Leading roles of Nancy and Oliver were cast via the BBC reality television show series ‘I’ll Do Anything’. Three actors shared the role of Oliver and Jodie Prenger won the role of Nancy, narrowingly beating Ireland’s Jessie Buckley. The revival was nominated for three 2010 Oliver Awards and won three 2010 Theatregoers’ Choice Awards.
St. Mary’s 2011 production is being directed by Maureen Walsh, fresh from her recent success with Jesus Christ Superstar. Musical Director is Clonmel’s own Danny Carroll with Laura Cotter as Chorus Mistress, choreography is by Gillian Hewitt-Fitzgerld, set design by Diarmuid Vaughan and the Childrens Co-ordinator is society stalwart Margaret O’Sullivan.
Auditions were held recently for the many parts in this mould breaking musical and the line-up of principals includes many new faces together with many familiar names.
The principal line-up is as follows: Diarmuid Vaughan, winner of this year’s AIMS Best Actor Award will play Fagin, Harry Lane and Henry Buttimer will play Oliver on alternate nights and similarly Richie Crowe and Bill Fitzgerald will share the role of The Artful Dodger. Sheena Fennessy is Nancy and Bill Sykes will be played by Tim Landers from Tralee. Other roles are being played by Ian Purcell (Mr. Bumble), Bernie Lonergan (Widow Corney), David Hughes (Mr. Sowerberry), Siobhan O’Dwyer (Mrs Sowerberry), Ause Braike (Noah Claypole), Emma Sunderland (Charlotte), Lisa O’Brien (Bet), Timmy O’Dwyer (Mr. Brownlow) and George Barry (Dr. Grimwig). The principal line up will be supported by a cast of almost 70 adults. Childrens auditions were held in mid September and almost 70 children were selected to be part of the cast of this timeless musical.
Booking will open on Tuesday 8th November at Marians, O’Connell Street, Clonmel (052)6123813.