‘Oliver!’ is coming back to the West End

It’s been over a decade since Lionel Bart’s beloved musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’s ‘Oliver Twist’ was last seen in London, in a starry London Palladium production that was led by Rowan Atkinson as smalltime criminal mastermind Fagin, and juiced up by a tie-in talent show that cast winner Jodie Prenger as Nancy. 

You wouldn’t exactly call its return to London this Christmas ‘low key’. But this new, transferring production of ‘Oliver!’ from the Chichester Festival Theatre doesn’t come with its own supporting TV show, and is in the more modest Gielgud Theatre, with respected comedy actor Simon Lipkin taking on the Fagin role.

It’s still a big deal though: West End super-producer Cameron Mackintosh doesn’t put his name to just any revival of one of the handful of treasured classic musicals he owns the rights. This is a major new production of Bart’s adaptation of Dickens’s smash yarn about an orphan boy who flees the workhouse and takes reference in London’s criminal underworld. Directed and choreographed by the great Matthew Bourne, we’re promised that ‘Oliver!’ will be ‘fully reconceived’ for this new run, which will begin its life in Chichester this summer if you’re absolutely jonesing to see it early, before coming to London for the end of the year. However boldly it’s reinvented – and don’t worry, it’s not going to be anything too mad, this is Cameron Mackintosh we’re talking about – the classic songs will all still be present and correct, including ‘Food Glorious Food’, ‘Consider Yourself’ and ‘As Long As He Needs Me’.

Tickets will go on sale Monday April 29.

‘Oliver!’ is at the Gielgud Theatre, Dec 14-Apr 6 2025. Sign up for priority booking here.

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