Poster Art: Oliver! Chichester Festival Theatre 2024

Oliver! to transfer to the West End’s Gielgud Theatre in London this Christmas 2024

Producer Cameron Mackintosh has announced that his new production of Oliver! is transferring into the West End this Christmas 2024.

The show will play the Gielgud Theatre in London from 14 December 2024.

Oliver! will come to London following its premiere at Chichester Festival Theatre this summer 2024, which was announced back in February. The show has been fully reconceived by Mackintosh with director and choreographer Matthew Bourne.

The cast of Oliver! includes Simon Lipkin (Guys and Dolls, Avenue Q) as Fagin, Shanay Holmes (Miss Saigon, The Bodyguard) as Nancy, Aaron Sidwell (Henry VI, Wicked) as Bill Sikes, Billy Jenkins (Les Misérables, BBC’s Dodger) as the Artful Dodger and Philip Franks (The Rocky Horror Show, Witness for the Prosecution) as Mr Brownlow.

Cameron Mackintosh recently launched an open casting call to find boys to play Fagin’s gang in the show.

Lionel Bart’s Olivier, Tony and Oscar award-winning musical boasts a fabulous score including Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, You’ve Got to Pick-a-Pocket or Two, I’d Do Anything, Oom Pah Pah and As Long As He Needs Me.

Oliver! has Book, Music and Lyrics by Lionel Bart, freely adapted from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, and is revised by Cameron Mackintosh, and directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne.

The Co-director of this production is Jean-Pierre van der Spuy, with Designer Lez Brotherston, Musical supervisor and conductor Graham Hurman, Lighting designers Paule Constable and Ben Jacobs, Sound designer Adam Fisher, Video designer George Reeve, Original orchestrations William David Brohn, Orchestral adaptation Stephen Metcalfe, Choreographic associates Etta Murfitt and Sam Archer, Casting directors Felicity French CDG and Paul Wooller CDG, and Children’s casting director Verity Naughton CDG.

Chichester Festival Theatre new 2024 season - the cast of Oliver! Billy Jenkins, Simon Lipkin, Shanay Holmes, Aaron Sidwell. Photo by Matt-Crockett
Chichester Festival Theatre new 2024 season – the cast of Oliver! Billy Jenkins, Simon Lipkin, Shanay Holmes, Aaron Sidwell. Photo by Matt-Crockett

Cameron Mackintosh said in a statement: “Oliver! has been part of my life as actor, stage-manager and producer since I first saw it as a schoolboy in 1960, shortly after it opened and began to take the world by storm on stage and screen. The original production design was revolutionary and changed the musical theatre and my career forever. Matthew Bourne and I, alongside Sam Mendes, first reinvented Lionel Bart’s masterpiece in 1994 with a huge production at the London Palladium which we restaged in an even grander way in 2009 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Now 15 years later, having staged the largest production of Oliver! ever, we want to return to the scale of the brilliant original with a more intimate production, thrillingly designed by Lez Brotherston, which in a sweepingly imaginative way conjures up Dickensian London. Lionel’s irresistible adaptation of Dickens classic story, with its legendary score packed with ‘tunes glorious tunes’ will, we hope, have audiences ‘considering themselves our mate’ when we open at London’s Gielgud Theatre this December with a terrific cast, following a summer season at the Chichester Festival Theatre.”

Director Matthew Bourne said: “In 1994, I first worked, as a choreographer, with Cameron Mackintosh on Lionel Bart’s legendary musical Oliver! – the spectacular Palladium revival, directed by Sam Mendes – it launched a collaboration and friendship that has become one of the most important of my career. Nearly 30 years on I’m delighted that Cameron has invited me to direct my first musical and my lifelong relationship with Oliver! continues! Along with my regular collaborators Lez Brotherston and Paule Constable, we are taking it back to its roots, inspired by the groundbreaking “poor theatre” designs of Sean Kenny – who revolutionised the modern musical along with Lionel and his Joan Littlewood Theatre Workshop influences. As an East-End Londoner myself l’ve always felt a great affinity with this show – sang all the songs in amateur shows as a kid with my brother and was a regular at Theatre Royal Stratford East as a teenager, even seeing Joan and Lionel in the bar there on several occasions. I was lucky enough to work closely with Lionel on the 1994 revival which was an absolute thrill (though in a recently unearthed TV interview when asked about the production he tells the interviewer “Some days I wanted to fire the lot of em”!!). But I loved him a lot (and I think he liked me!) and hope to do him and Oliver! proud in 2024.”

Oliver! plays at Chichester Festival Theatre from 8 July to 7 September, and then transfers to the Gielgud Theatre in London from 14 December 2024.

Tickets go on sale on Monday 29 April. Sign-up for alerts

More about tickets to OLIVER! at the Gielgud Theatre in London

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📷 Main photo: Oliver! Chichester Festival Theatre 2024

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