Mackintosh's OLIVER! Scores Big with Critics and Box Office

By: Jan. 15, 2009

Sir Cameron Mackintosh's spectacular £4.5 million revival of Oliver! is already the fastest selling on record, with £15 million in advance ticket sales before it even opened on January 14th at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Oliver took in £3 million more than Dirty Dancing did in 2006, a stunning feat in these tough economic times.

Robert Goold (Best Director, 2008 Olivier Awards) directs this production of Oliver!, which is based on Sam Mendes' triumphant 1994 staging, along with Tony award winning co-director and choreographer Matthew Bourne. Production design is by Anthony Ward; lighting design by Paule Constable and sound is by Paul Groothuis, with orchestrations by William D Brohn and musical supervision by Martin Koch.

Cameron Mackintosh presents Rowan Atkinson as 'Fagin' in Lionel Bart's musical masterpiece "OLIVER!" at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

The 1994 London Palladium production of "OLIVER!" played 1,366 performances over three years and grossed more than £40 million at the box office breaking the then record for the longest run at that theatre.

The production at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane promises to be even more spectacular than ever before, with a cast and orchestra of over one hundred. The sensational score is full of Lionel Bart's irresistible songs including Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, You've Got to Pick-a-Pocket or Two, I'd Do Anything, Oom Pah Pah, As Long As He Needs Me and many more.

Rowan Atkinson has enjoyed a hugely successful career on stage, television and film for over 30 years. A founder member of the BBC's Not the Nine O'clock News team, in 1981 he became the youngest performer to have a one-man show in the West End. The sell-out season won him a SWET Award and the show toured the UK and internationally. Television credits include four series of Blackadder; Mr Bean, the highest rated UK comedy of the 90's, which was seen in over 200 countries, and the Ben Elton sitcom, The Thin Blue Line. Rowan was twice voted BBC Personality of the Year. Film credits include The Tall Guy; The Witches; Four Weddings and a Funeral;The Lion King; Scooby Doo; Love Actually; Johnny English and the internationAl Blockbusters Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie and Mr Bean's Holiday.

The new production of Lionel Bart's musical masterpiece "OLIVER!" also Jodie Prenger as ‘Nancy' and Burn Gorman as ‘Bill Sikes'.

Playing the alternate ‘Nancy' (on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, the two performances Jodie is not scheduled to play), Cameron has great pleasure in confirming that Tamsin Carroll, the award-winning Australian star of his 2002 Australian production of "OLIVER!", has agreed to join the London production. Tamsin had an enormous personal success playing ‘Nancy', which won her every single major Australian award for ‘Best Actress in a Musical'. Tamsin also had huge success playing the title role of ‘Dusty Springfield' in the original Australian production of "Dusty", as well as leading roles in "Grease", "Shout" and "The Rocky Horror Show".

The rest of the cast includes Julius D'Silva as ‘Mr. Bumble' and Wendy Ferguson as ‘Widow Corney'. Other supporting roles already announced include Julian Glover as ‘Mr Brownlow', Rosemary Leach as ‘Mrs Bedwin' and Julian Bleach and Louise Gold as ‘Mr and Mrs Sowerberry'. The role of ‘Oliver' will be shared by the winners of BBC TV's "I'd Do Anything", Lawrence Jeffcoate, Gwion Wyn Jones and Harry Stott, and the ‘Artful Dodger's will be Eric Dibb Fuller, Robert Madge and Ross McCormack.

Another popular finalist from "I'd Do Anything", Sarah Lark, will also join the company as one of the street sellers in Who Will Buy, and will be covering ‘Nancy'. The cast will also feature Chris Bennett, Jay Bryce, Philip Catchpole, Matthew Clark, Mary Cormack, Hadrian Delacey, Alison Dormer, Tom Edden, Cara Elston, Susan Fay, Jenny Fitzpatrick, Lyndsey Gardiner, Ian Jervis, Robert Kershaw, Tim Laurenti, Rebecca Louis, Claire Rickard, David Roberts, Oliver Roll, Myra Sands, Charlotte Spencer, Spencer Stafford, Hollie Taylor and Lynne Wilmot.

Performance times for "OLIVER!" at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane will be as follows evening performances are Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets, priced from £17.50 - £60.00 for all performances, will be available from the Theatre Royal Drury Lane Box Office on 0844 412 2955 and online at