Gordon's Oliver
The Artful Dodger (Phoebe Schollick) takes Oliver under his wing (Gordon's School)
Gordon's Oliver
The starving children in the workhouse can only think about food, glorious food (Gordon's School)

Gordon's Oliver
The terrifying Bill Sikes, played by Hamish Conduit (Gordon's School)

Gordon's Oliver
Bet (Emily Hunter) and Nancy (Millie Kirtley) take pity on Oliver (Xavier Ambia) (Gordon's School)

The doors of the workhouse were thrown wide open at Gordon’s School in West End as Oliver Jnr played to packed audiences.

The Lower School musical, with a cast of more than 70 children transported back to the Victorian era, told the story of the orphaned Oliver (Xavier Ambia), who takes up with a gang of pickpockets led by Fagin (Nathanial Teeton).

Convincing and dark, the damp, sinister backdrop of the workhouse and then the undertakers is filled with kindness and colour as Nancy (Millie Kirtleyand Bet (Emily Hunter), take pity on the waif-like Oliver.

Adding humour, energy and cheekiness, is the Artful Dodger (Phoebe Schollick) while the dark, swarthy Bill Sikes (Hamish Conduit) is terrifying.

Filled with classic family favourites such as Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself and Got to Pick a Pocket, there was no doubting just how much the students in Years 7 to 9 were enjoying singing them.

The musical was a triumph in singing, dancing and acting with students also involved in costume design, lighting and sound.

Director of drama Robbie Olden said: “I am really proud of what we have achieved together with our largest ever cast for a production.

“The junior production is always about learning throughout the process, making mistakes and developing confidence and resilience as performers.

“I am lucky to work with so many students that are willing to give their all and show full trust in the process.”

Gordon’s School, which is set in 50 acres of grounds, was established in 1885 at the behest of Queen Victoria. A TES Boarding School of the Year,  it is recognised as one of the best state secondary school in Surrey and officially listed as one of Britain’s outstanding schools by His Majesty’s Chief Inspector.