Neil Morrissey, Brian Conley to Lead UK National Tour of OLIVER!



Man Behaving Badly's Neil Morrissey and musical theatre star Brian Conley will alternate in the role of Fagin in the previously announced tour of Oliver! which launches from the Wales Millennium Centre this December, according to

Lionel Bart's 1960 musical, which played a two-year run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane before closing in January, will open in Cardiff on 20 December and will play dates in Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Newcastle, Leeds and Bristol with venues confirmed through to March 2013.

Morrissey's West End credits include Victoria Wood's 2005 production of Acorn Antiques at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Guys and Dolls alongside Sally Ann Triplett. He will play Fagin during the show's opening in Cardiff as well as Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Bristol.

Conley is currently touring the UK in Craig Revel Horwood's Neil Diamond musical Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show. He was last seen in the West End playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, going on to tour the UK with the show. His other theatre credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and his Olivier-nominated performance in Jolson. Conley plays Fagin for the production's dates in Birmingham, Southampton, Edinburgh Plymouth and Newcastle.

"It is 46 years since I appeared in the first national tour of Oliver!", producer Cameron Mackintosh said in a press statement. "This show has been close to my heart ever since. Little did I know then that I would one day be this brilliant musical's producer and co-owner."

OLIVER! is based on Charles Dickens' literary classic Oliver Twist, with music by composer Lionel Bart.   It will be produced by Cameron Mackintosh in association with Southbrook Group Limited and Stage Entertainment UK.  Further casting will be announced shortly.

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