Town Hall, Armidale – May/June 1995
Stage Direction by Michael Gibson
Musical Direction by Jeff Brady
Produced by Donna Wainohu nee Murphy
Choreography by Adele Brownlow, Michael Gibson
Music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. By arrangement with Tams-Witmark, New York.
Oliver Twist is one of the best of Charles Dickens' loved stories and one of the most enduring. Currently the West End of London is host to a very popular revival of Lionel Bart's musical.
In 1960 Lionel Bart opened to the world the story of Oliver Twist through song. The songs of Oliver are bursting with melody. All of the songs are enjoyable as well as unforgettable with some such as ''Food, Glorious, Food'' and ''Who will buy'' becoming classics.
As with virtually all of the great stories which last, love is the core of Oliver! Its theme is the search for love. It is this that orphan boy Oliver searches for from the very beginning in the workhouse. Even though the musical is filled with a great variety of stunning musical sequences, the main dramatic line is never lost on its rocky way to a wonderful happy ending.
Dickens' inspiration for the story of Oliver Twist came from his own childhood experiences working in a blacking factory to support his parents (one of his workhouse workmates was called Bob Fagin).
Dickens' experiences had a great effect on him. His stories of child exploitation and brutalizing father figures (Bumble and Sikes) surfaced in the story of Oliver Twist which was Dickens' second novel.
The story, while having a dark and foreboding undercurrent, never descends into the morbid but remains filled with likeable characters. Nancy provides the mother figure that Oliver desires. Dodger the agreeable rogue who cons his way into the audience’s heart, and of course Fagin, the arch abuser of the young becomes in the hands of Charles Dickens and Lionel Bart an object of sympathy.
We begin the story in the workhouse where Oliver dares to ask for more food. The thunderous guardian Mr. Bumble sells Oliver for five pounds to the undertaker Mr. Sowerberry. Here he also meets Mrs. Sowerberry, Charlotte and Noah. But Oliver seeing his life here is no better than the workhouse runs away.
He sets off to London where he meets The Artful Dodger, who tells Oliver of a place , run by an elderly gentlemen, where he can get lodgings and food. With no other choice, Oliver is taken to Fagin's and becomes a part of this lower-world of gin and petty larceny.
It is on Oliver’s first robbing mission he is caught, but Mr. Brownlow, whose pocket is picked, rescues Oliver. He takes him home to Bloomsberry. For the first time Oliver experiences the love for which he has yearned, Bill Sikes, concerned that Oliver will tell Brownlow everything, arranges for Nancy to get him back. This she does willingly but her guilt at taking Oliver away from his newly found happiness, to return him to the bleak world of the Thieves kitchen, presses upon her to return him.
She secretly arranges (with Brownlow) to return Oliver at midnight on London Bridge. Sikes follows her, kills her and pursued by an angry mob threatens to kill Oliver.
A Bow-Street Runner shoots Sikes, and Oliver is returned to his new found world of security and love.
Fagin? Well he is left on stage to review the situation.
SCENES & MUSICAL NUMBERS
Scene 1: The Workhouse, Early Evening
'Food, Glorious Food' – Workhouse Boys
'Oliver' – Mr Bumble, Widow Corney and Boys
Scene 2: Widow Corney's Parlour, Later
'I Shall Scream' – Widow Corney and Mr Bumble
'Boy For Sale' – Mr Bumble
Scene 3: The Undertaker’s
'That's Your Funeral' – Mr Sowerberry, Mrs Sowerberry and Mr Bumble
'Where Is Love?' – Oliver
Scene 4: The Undertaker’s, Next Morning
Scene 5: Paddington Green, Morning (A Week Later)
'Consider Yourself' – Dodger, Oliver and Chorus
Scene 6: Fagin's, Later (Into Street)
'Pick A Pocket Or Two' – Fagin and Boys
'It's A Fine Life' – Nancy and Bet with Boys
'I'd Do Anything' – Dodger, Nancy, Oliver, Bet, Fagin and The Boys
'Be Back Soon' – Fagin, Dodger
Scene 1: The Pub, Following Evening (Into Street)
'Oom-Pah-Pah' – Nancy and Chorus
'My Name' – Bill Sikes
'As Long As He Needs Me' – Nancy
Scene 2: Mr Brownlow's House and Into The Street
'Where Is Love?' (reprise) – Mrs Bedwin
'Who Will Buy?' – Oliver, Street Criers and Chorus
Scene 3: Fagin's, Ending in Street
'It's A Fine Life' – Nancy, Sikes, Fagin and Dodger
'Reviewing The Situation' – Fagin
Scene 4: The Workhouse, A Few Days Later (Into The Street)
'Oliver' (reprise) – Widow Corney and Mr Bumble
Scene 5: Mr Brownlow's House (Into The Street)
'As Long As He Needs Me' (reprise) – Nancy
Scene 6: London Bridge, Midnight (In Street)
'Reviewing The Situation' (reprise) – Fagin
There has been a lot of work that has gone into this production of Oliver! and I am deeply indebted to everyone who has a hand in bringing Oliver! to our Armidale audiences.
In particular, I’d like to thank Jeff Brady, Donna Murphy and Margaret Kennedy for their patience, persistence and faith in our ability to get this show up and running.
I trust you, the public, find our efforts as rewarding as we do.
Oliver: Tim Voegeli/Rupert Monahan, Mr Bumble: Will Knight, Widow Corney: Cheryl Landers, Mr Sowerberry: Ray Sharpe, Mrs Sowerberry: Betty Hall, Charlotte: Niki Arnold, Noah Claypole: Leon Braun, The Artful Dodger: Allyn Smith, Fagin: Michael Gibson, Nancy: Sharyn Holmes, Bet: Lana Slocombe, Bill Sikes: Duncan Grivas, Charley Bates: Skye Gilkeson/Leah Torbay, Mr Brownlow: John Armbruster, Dr Grimwig: David Young,Mrs Bedwin: Toni Welch, Old Sally: Aline Christenson, Policemen: Alec Watt, Andrew Lawson
The Chorus, Street Criers, Londoners & Tavern Patrons: Aline Christenson, Andrew Lawson, Andrew Swann, Annette Schaefer, Beryl Hamel, Betty Armbruster, Bev Jenkins, Carol Egan, Cath Few, Clem Richards, Con Shears, David Horner, David Young, Debbie Towner, Donna Murphy nee Wainohu, Doug Rumble, Margurite Beaumont, Rob Tumuth, Roslyn Shulze, Sue Nano, Toni Welch
Dancers: Adele Brownlow, Allison Hecker, Amanda Brownlow, Lana Slocombe
Workhouse Boys and Fagin’s Gang (Group One): Abbie Cotteral, Alex Schwartz, Ashlea Rincheval, Ashley Faint, Chris Nano, Dianne Murphy, Fiona Menzies, Gemma Kennedy, Jennifer Drews, Jessica Miller, Karyn Ashley, Maddy Lawler, Matthew Hanna, Michelle Godwin, Nathanial Andrews, Phil Dewhurst, Rachel Menzies, Sarah Voegeli, Sean Knight, Shannon Ashley, Skye Gilkeson, Stephanie Arnold, Tara Holland, Thomas Menzies, Zach Schwartz
Workhouse Boys and Fagin’s Gang (Group Two): Amanda Schafer, Anna Welch, Belinda Dooley, Bella Larkins, Blake Noonan, Ciara O’Riordan, Elaine Towner, Emily Simms, Erin Hiller, Fergus Parker, Heather Sinclair, Joanne Ernest, Joseph Buck, Julia Watters, Kate Worthing, Leah Torbay, Nathan Ernest, Oneewa Forsyth, Pippa Watters, Rodney Towner, Rosie Stevenson, Sara Noonan, Vladimir Koboroff
Piano: Robyn Bradley, Violin: Alice Richards, Susie Wilson, Penelope Epps, Cello: Melanie Liertz, Pauline Gorman, Janice Teizel, Lyndall Hecker, Bass: Wendy Griffiths, Clarinet: Anna Bailey, Flute: Samantha Brady, Addy Weston, Cathy Noble, Percussion: Penny Taber, Erin Muldoon
Director: Michael Gibson
Assistant Director: Donna Murphy nee Wainohu
Musical Director: Jeff Brady
Producer: Donna Murphy nee Wainohu
Choreographers: Adele Brownlow, Michael Gibson
Stage Manager: Margaret Kennedy
Set Design: Propt Scenery Newtown
Properties: Barbara Colledge
Properties Assistants: Brian Thomas, Pat Urbonas, Dorothy Pollard, Aline Christenson, Betty Hall, Ngaire Lewis
Costume Design/Dresser: Ngaire Lewis
Costume Assistants: Aline Christenson, Anne Watters, Bronwyn Clarke, Dawn Smith, Debbie Towner, Dorothy Pollard, Georgie McDonald, Jenny Grivas,
Lighting: Quenorie Napier with Armidale High School students
Sound: Lolly Krzyskowiak
Photography: Norma Edmonds
Publicity: Toni Welch, Lolly Krzyskowiak
Promotions: Toni Welch
Set Construction: Duncan Grivas
Stage Crew: Barbara Colledge, Brian Thomas, Clare Knight, Dorothy Pollard, Louisa Carlton, Paddy Meredith Keller, Pat Urbonas, Scott Hazelton
Prompt: John Brady
Makeup: Di Arnold
Posters/Flyers: Toni Welch, Lolly Krzyskowiak
Programme: Toni Welch, John Welch, Lolly Krzyskowiak
Ticket Design: Toni Welch
Bookings: Margaret Kennedy
Social Co-ordinator: Dorothy Pollard
Front of House: Norman Macey, Margaret Norton
2AD for support with publicity, Angus & Robertson for raffle prize, Armidale Express for help with publicity, Armidale High School, for the use of their Auditorium & equipment and the students for their help back stage, on lighting and Front of House, Armidale Playhouse for the loan of props, Armidale Wholesale Fruit & Veg for raffle prize, Black Dot for raffle prize, Bourkes' Florist for the loan of flowers for the ''Who Will Buy” scene, Channel Ten for advertising, Cut Price Deli for raffle prize, Darrell Lea for raffle prize, Dave Robins Sports Centre for raffle prize, Department of Theatre Studies UNE for the loan of Props, Eagle Boys for raffle prize, Evans Printery for the reduction in costs, Fabric Fair for dressing Nancy, H.S.A. First National for photocopying, House and Garden for the loan of baskets for the ''Who Will Buy'' scene, Jessie Street Bargain Fabrics for dressing Widow Corney, Kristies' Salon for raffle prize, Krumpel Kids for raffle prize, LW Burgess for raffle prize, Mallams Pharmacy for raffle prize, Mitre 10 for raffle prize, NBN Television for advertising, New England Fruit Market for raffle prize, Pidgeons Newsagency for raffle prize, Prime Television for advertising, Roberta Cahill for the loan of the wheelchair, Sew-What for raffle prize, Tall Pauls' for raffle prize, The Colour Copy Centre for photocopying, The New Englander for help with publicity, The Walnut Tree for raffle prize, To all the businesses who gave generously to our fabulous hamper, University Union ''Fridge Flyer'' for advertising at reduced rates, Village Health Foods for raffle prize, Westend Wholesalers for raffle prize.