Oliver! cast toast a glorious Royal run; Big-budget West End spectacular arrives for eight week theatre run.
CONSIDER yourself at home at the Theatre Royal Newcastle for the next two months.
The big-budget West End spectacular Oliver! has arrived at the venue and is promising lots of Oom Pah Pah for its run until November 3. Starring Brian Conley, it has begun an epic eight-week run - the longest run of a show at the theatre in 18 years.
The show, which was transported to the Toon in 13 trucks, opened this week and is currently one of the largest productions on tour.
Oliver! - based on Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist - boasts a cast of 54, orchestra of 16 and a technical team of 53 who bring the show to life eight times a week.
It has taken more than a dozen 45ft trailers to move the production to Newcastle, and requires four days to unload sets and costumes.
Oliver! is one of the best-loved musicals of all time and includes Lionel Bart's sensational score, with irresistible songs 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! will be in Newcastle for eight weeks - the longest run of a show at the Theatre Royal since Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats in 1994.
It recently completed a two-year run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London where it opened to rave reviews, sell-out business and the biggest advance sales of all time for a West End show.
Last year, Oliver! celebrated its 50th birthday, having premiered in the West End in 1960.
Brian Conley, who stars as Fagin, is one of the UK's most versatile actors and performers.
The role of Nancy is played by Cat Simmons, best known for her regular role as DC Kezia Walker in the long running ITV drama The Bill and as Scarlett Anderson in Family Affairs for Channel 5.
Iain Fletcher plays Bill Sikes - a series regular in The Bill (DC Rodney Skase), Iain is also well known for his portrayal of Doc Ryan in Band of Brothers.
Mr Brownlow is played by stalwart of stage, TV and film Stephen Moore.
The show also boasts 24 local youngsters taking it in turns to play the orphans.
It runs until November 3.
To see a video of Gordon Barr backstage at Oliver!, visit: www.chroniclelive.co.uk
CONSIDER IT A SUCCESS The cast of Oliver!, Brian Conley, Ian Fletcher and Cat Simmons with Archie Murphy and Carrie Tunnley