WHICH musical kick-started the careers of Phil Collins, Davy Jones, Anthony Newley and Dennis Waterman?
Yes, it was Oliver! As well as making stars of Mark Lester and Jack Wild in the 1968 film, these well-known singers and actors broke their teeth on Lionel Bart’s masterpiece.
Now it’s the turn of Woking Amateur Operatic Society. Although WAOS members have been producing two musicals each year since 1974, ranging from blockbusters such as My Fair Lady to less widely-known gems like Moll Flanders, they have never turned their hands to Oliver!
Maybe this is due to that well-known warning not to work with children or animals, attributed to WC Fields.
However, that is about to change as WAOS are presenting this well-loved family show on the Rhoda McGaw stage from Tuesday, October 21 until Saturday, October 25, featuring no less than 30 local children and a stage debut from Dudley the dog as Bullseye.
Braving the challenge of working with so many children and one large animal is Noda award-winning director Lee Power, directing for WAOS for the first time, following his show-stopping performance as Jud Fry in Oklahoma last May.
The children work as two teams, appearing in alternate performances, led by Evan Huntley-Robinson and Jonno Millar in the title role with Peter Robinson and George Edwards as their Artful Dodgers.
Who knows, in years to come their names may well be added to the list of celebrities who first made the big time in Oliver!
Toe-tapping and a desire to join in are guaranteed as the cast and orchestra dig into Food Glorious Food, join hands to Consider Yourself, laugh to You Gotta Pick a Pocket or Two and I’m Reviewing the Situation, and weep to As Long As He Needs Me and Where is Love.