Oliver! was the first musical adaptation of a Charles Dickens work to become a stage hit, one of the reasons why it attracted attention. There had been two previous Dickens musicals in the 1950s, both of them television adaptations of "A Christmas Carol", but the dramatic story of "Oliver Twist" was the first Dickens work to be presented as a successful stage musical. Another reason for the success of the musical was the revolving stage set, an innovation designed by Sean Kenny.
The show launched the careers of several child actors, including Davy Jones, later of The Monkees; Phil Collins, later of Genesis; and Tony Robinson, who later played the role of Baldrick in the television series Blackadder. The singer Steve Marriott (Small Faces, Humble Pie) also featured in early line-ups, eventually graduating to the role of Artful Dodger in the West End production.
The plot of Dickens's original novel is considerably simplified for the purposes of the musical, with Fagin being represented more as a comic character than as a villain, and large portions of the latter part of the story being completely left out. (It may well be that Bart based his musical on David Lean's film, rather than Dickens' book). Although Dickens' novel has been called antisemitic in its portrayal of the Jew Fagin as evil, the production by Bart (himself a Jew) was more sympathetic and featured many Jewish actors in leading roles: Ron Moody (Ronald Moodnik), Georgia Brown (Lilian Klot), and Martin Horsey,
1 Oliver! peut-être considéré comme un Top musical
Original London production
Oliver! premiered in the West End at the New Theatre (now the Noël Coward Theatre) on 30 June 1960 and ran for 2,618 performances. Directed by Peter Coe, the choreographer was Malcolm Clare and costumes and scenery were by Sean Kenny. The original cast featured Ron Moody as Fagin, Georgia Brown as Nancy, and Barry Humphries in the supporting comic role as Mr. Sowerberry, the undertaker. Keith Hamshere (the original Oliver) is now a Hollywood still photographer (Star Wars etc.); Martin Horsey (the original Dodger) works as an actor/director and is the author of the play L'Chaim. The cast also included Tony Robinson as one of the Workhouse boys/Fagin's Gang, and John Bluthal (now best known as The Vicar of Dibley's Frank Pickle) as Fagin. Former professional boxer Danny Sewell ( brother of television actor George Sewell ) was the original Bill Sikes, and remained in the role ( including the original Broadway & US touring productions ) for the best part of six years. Danny Sewell's main competitor at audition for the role of Sikes was Michael Caine, who later stated he "cried for a week" after failing to secure the part.
The part of Nancy was originally written for Alma Cogan, who despite being unable to commit to the production, steered a great many producers to invest in it.
Original Broadway production
The musical previewed in the U.S. beginning in Los Angeles with Edwin Lester's L.A (and San Francisco) Civic Light Opera Association, as a 1962 national tour. The Sean Kenny sets were duplicated. The sets built in London, were shipped by sea and delivered to the Port of San Pedro, with the actual stage brick wall London mural painted as a scenic backing. Sean Kenny's design concept eliminated a house curtain exposing the turntable stage set, the open lighting pipes rigged with lamp fixtures, electric cables, and an open loft to the arriving audience. The turntable, scenic set and elements duplicated the original garish stylistic "wood grained" painted finish. With lighting, the set was intended to take on each specific color mood and change atmosphere. Edwin Lester hated the set's paint job, ordering his scenic shop manager Phil Raiguel to send scenic artists to glaze down the red, green, blue, yellow, orange grain finish. During the companies rehearsal prior to that evenings' 8 pm premiere audience, the two scenic artists (Wally Reid and Hub Braden) glazed over the scenery while the cast rehearsed on the turntable stair platform and bridge units. The scenic artists continued painting/glazing while the cast took their meal break prior to the overture. As the audience was seated, the open-to-view stage set painting continued, with the two scenic artists still painting and glazing as the musical was performed; continuing during the intermission, through the second act performance, actually taking curtain calls with the company! Remaining on stage afterwards, the two continued their glazing throughout the night, finishing the set's repainting the following day at noon. Reviews noted the brilliant stage direction included "two London house painters" atmosphere performance, later questioning where and why the house painters had been eliminated after the show's opening night .] "Oliver" premiered on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on January 6, 1963, "minus the two house painters". It closed on November 14, 1964, after 774 performances. The cast featured child actor Bruce Prochnik in the title role alongside Georgia Brown, reprising her West End role as Nancy, and Clive Revill, replacing Ron Moody, as Fagin. The national tour featured Michael Goodman as The Artful Dodger, but on Broadway the role was played by future Monkee Davy Jones. The Broadway production was a critical success and received ten Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical. It won the awards for Best Scenic Design, Best Original Score and Best Music Direction. The Broadway production was revived shortly after the original production closed. The revival opened in 1965 and was directed by Peter Coe. It ran at the Martin Beck Theatre for 64 performances. It featured Victor Stiles as Oliver, Robin Ramsay as Fagin, Maura K. Wedge as Nancy, Joey Baio as The Artful Dodger, Dominic Chianese as Mr. Sowerberry, Alan Crofoot as Mr. Bumble, Danny Sewell as Bill Sikes, Bram Nossen as Mr. Brownlow, and Dodi Protero as Mrs. Bedwin.
Georgia Brown, Davy Jones, Bruce Prochnik, Alice Playten, and Clive Revill appeared performing two musical numbers ("I'd Do Anything" and the Act II reprise of "As Long As He Needs Me") from Oliver! on The Ed Sullivan Show on the evening of February 9, 1964, the same evening that the Beatles made their first U.S. television appearance on that show.
1977 London revival
Cameron Mackintosh revived Oliver! in London for the first time in 1977. It played at the Albery Theatre (the renamed New Theatre; now the Noël Coward Theatre), starring Roy Hudd as Fagin, which ran for over two years. This production was totally faithful to the 1960 original version, using Sean Kenny's set. Indeed, the original production's sepia background painted on the rear stage wall was still extant.
1983 London and Broadway revivals
Mackintosh was asked to revive the show yet again in 1983 for a limited five-week Christmas season at the Aldwych Theatre, directed by Peter Coe. Ron Moody returned as Fagin, with Jackie Marks as Nancy, Linal Haft as Bill Sikes, Meg Johnson as Mrs Corney, Peter Bayliss as Mr Bumble, and Geoffrey Toone as Mr Brownlow. Oliver was played by Anthony Pearson, and the Artful Dodger by David Garlick. The original Sean Kenny sets were used. The last professional production to use Sean Kenny's original stage design was at the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch, Essex, in 1986. This production starred Victor Spinetti as Fagin.
The 1983 London revival of Oliver! transferred to Broadway in 1984. It opened at The Mark Hellinger Theater and ran from April 29, 1984 through May 13, 1984, for 17 performances and 13 previews. Ron Moody reprised the role of Fagin and Patti LuPone played Nancy. David Garlick reprised his West End performance as The Artful Dodger, the first British youngster to appear on Broadway since Davy Jones, creating the Equity Exchange Program in the process. The original creative staff were used for this production, including director Peter Coe.
LuPone, in her memoirs, said that the production should have run longer, noting that this production utilized the original sets, costumes, blocking (staging), and direction, and commented: "Hmm...maybe 'that' was the problem". Moody was nominated for a Tony Award despite the short run. The show only received one negative review; it was from Frank Rich of the New York Times, who called the production "likely to hold the attention of only the youngest and most obedient children" and "just dull." It prompted one of the main backers to pull out. The positive reviews were quoted in the ad for the show, including a Clive Barnes quote: "'Oliver!' Is glorious food for Broadway".
LuPone had asked the show's Musical Director to change her keys because they were too low for her, but was told she could not. She wrote that she "had major battles with the musical director", one concerning the term "vamp"; "he never waited for me to finish my dialogue."
1994 London revival
Cameron Mackintosh produced another revival of the show which opened at the London Palladium in the West End on 8 December 1994. The production team included a young Sam Mendes as director, with Anthony Ward as designer, Matthew Bourne as choreographer, Martin Koch as music supervisor and William David Brohn as orchestrator. The cast included Jonathan Pryce (after much persuasion) as Fagin, Sally Dexter as Nancy, Miles Anderson as Bill Sikes, James Villiers as Mr. Brownlow, James Saxon as Mr. Bumble, Jenny Galloway as Widow Corney, David Delve as Mr. Sowerberry and Julia Deakin as Mrs. Sowerberry. The role of Oliver was played by numerous child actors during the run of four years, including Gregory Bradley, James Daley, Andrew James Michel, Jon Lee and Tom Fletcher, while the Artful Dodger was played by Adam Searles, Paul Bailey and Bronson Webb. The role of Bet was played by Danielle McCormack, Rosalind James and Francesca Jackson. The musical closed on 21 February 1998. The role of Fagin was later played by many notable British actors and comedians including George Layton, Russ Abbot, Jim Dale and Robert Lindsay (who won an Olivier Award for his performance in 1997). Bill Sikes was later portrayed by Steven Hartley and Joe McGann, and Nancy by Sonia Swaby, Claire Moore and Ruthie Henshall.
The show was a lavish affair and moved from its original intimate melodramatic feel to a more cinematic and symphonic feel that would accommodate an audience familiar with the 1968 motion picture. This production featured brand new music and lyrics written by Lionel Bart, and also additional dialogue not featured in the original script, added by Bart and Sam Mendes. Other updated elements include the addition of a prologue, in which the audience is witness to Oliver’s harrowing birth. The dialogue was homage to both the 1948 and 1968 film versions of the story which were in turn based on the original novel. New music arrangements and dance sequences were added to various songs, most notably "Consider Yourself" and "Who Will Buy?". Tempos for some of the musical numbers were altered (notably "It's a Fine Life", "I'd Do Anything" and "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two"), while other incidental numbers were drastically rewritten, including the London Bridge chase sequence. Interestingly, a new intermediate scene was added just after "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two", in which Bill Sikes enters the Thieves’ Kitchen and “negotiates” with Fagin.
2009 London revival
A production heavily based upon the 1994 Palladium production opened in London’s West End on 14 January 2009. Produced once again by Cameron Mackintosh, this revival was directed by Shakespeare expert Rupert Goold and choreographed/co-directed by Matthew Bourne. Anthony Ward repeated his acclaimed scenic and costume designs while William David Brohn joined the team as orchestrator, revising some of the musical arrangements. The new production opened to rave reviews at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, receiving positive feedback from critics throughout London. Designer Anthony Ward created a new cobblestone effect for the entire stage while the orchestrations were expanded with new dance arrangements given to Consider Yourself and Who Will Buy? as well as new curtain call/exit music. The prologue from the Palladium production was removed, and the show now opens as it originally did in 1960, with the workhouse children entering, singing Food Glorious Food.
British comedian Rowan Atkinson played Fagin. He had played the role in a school production but had turned it down in the Palladium revival. Burn Gorman played Bill Sikes, making his West End musical debut. The leading roles of Nancy and Oliver were cast via the BBC reality television show series I'd Do Anything. Three actors shared the role of Oliver: Laurence Jeffcoate, Harry Stott and Gwion Wyn Jones. Robert Madge played The Artful Dodger. Jodie Prenger won the role of Nancy, shared with Australian Tamsin Carroll, who played two performances each week. Sarah Lark, a runner-up on I’d do Anything understudied the role. Royal Shakespeare Company actor Julian Glover played Mr. Brownlow with Julian Bleach as Mr. Sowerberry/Dr. Grimwig, Louise Gold as Mrs. Sowerberry, Julius D’Silva as Mr. Bumble and Wendy Ferguson as Widow Corney. The revival was nominated for three 2010 Olivier Awards: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Atkinson) and Best Theatre Choreography, but failed to win any. After the departure of the original Olivers, the role was passed on to Zac Hurst, Fanncesco Piancentini-Smith, Edward Cooke, Edward Holtom and Ethan Smith. Edward Holtom made a sad departure, one month before his scheduled leave and the date on his contract expired. No reason was given for this.
When Rowan Atkinson fell ill in April 2009, Russ Abbot stepped in to the play the role. Abbot had starred in the 1997 Palladium run. In July 2009, British comedian Omid Djalili replaced him as Fagin, receiving positive reviews. In December 2009, Griff Rhys Jones took over as Fagin, with Steven Hartley as Bill Sikes. Hartley had played Sikes in the 1997 Palladium production. In March 2010, Kerry Ellis took over the role of Nancy, also receiving positive reviews. At the same time, Bleach, D’Silva and Ferguson were replaced by Jason Morell, Christian Patterson and Claire Machin, respectively. In June 2010, Russ Abbot took over as Fagan. Stephen Moore was a replacement for Mr. Brownlow. Ron Moody, the original Fagin, joined the cast at the end of the performance on 14 June 2010, in celebration of the show's 50th Anniversary. Griff Rhys Jones returned as Fagin in December 2010.
The production closed on 8 January 2011.
• Prologue / Overture – Orchestra
• "Food, Glorious Food" – Orphans
• "Oliver!" – Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney
• "I Shall Scream" – Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney
• "Boy for Sale" – Mr. Bumble
• "That's Your Funeral" – Mr. Sowerberry, Mrs. Sowerberry, and Mr. Bumble
• "Coffin Music" – Orchestra
• "Where Is Love?" – Oliver
• "Oliver's Escape" – Orchestra
• "Consider Yourself" – The Artful Dodger, Oliver, and Chorus
• "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two" – Fagin and Fagin's Gang
• "It's a Fine Life" – Nancy, Bet, and Fagin's Gang
• "I'd Do Anything" – The Artful Dodger, Nancy, Oliver, Bet, Fagin, and Fagin's Gang
• "Be Back Soon" – Fagin, The Artful Dodger, Oliver and Fagin's Gang
• "Capture of Oliver" – Orchestra
• Entr'acte – Orchestra
• "Oom-Pah-Pah" – Nancy and Chorus
• "My Name" – Bill Sikes
• "As Long as He Needs Me" – Nancy
• "Where Is Love?" (Reprise) – Mrs. Bedwin
• "Who Will Buy?" – Oliver, Sellers, and Chorus
• "It's a Fine Life" (Reprise) – Bill Sikes, Nancy, Fagin, and The Artful Dodger
• "Reviewing the Situation" – Fagin
• "Oliver!" (Reprise) – Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney
• "As Long As He Needs Me" (Reprise) – Nancy
• "London Bridge / Chase / Death of Bill Sikes" – Orchestra
• "Reviewing the Situation" (Reprise) – Fagin
• Finale ("Food, Glorious Food", "Consider Yourself" and "I'd Do Anything") – Company
Oliver Twist, the protagonist of the story. He is a lonely orphan boy born in the workhouse.
Fagin, a conniving career criminal, takes in homeless boys and teaches them to pick pockets for him.
Nancy, Bill Sikes's lover. She takes a liking to Oliver and treats him like her own child, but is eventually murdered for the steps she takes on his behalf.
Mr. Brownlow, Oliver's grandfather, a kind man of wealth and breeding.
Bill Sikes, Nancy's brutal and abusive lover, a burglar and her eventual murderer. One of Fagin's former successful pickpockets.
Mr. Bumble, the pompous beadle of the workhouse in which Oliver was born.
The Artful Dodger, the cleverest of Fagin's pickpockets, he introduces Fagin to Oliver.
Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry, the insensitive couple who take in Oliver and use him in their funeral business.
Mrs. Corney, the matron of the workhouse where Oliver was born, later marries Mr. Bumble.
Charlotte Sowerberry, the rude but also flirtatious daughter of the Sowerberrys.
Noah Claypole, The Sowerberrys' apprentice, he bullies Oliver about his mother and enjoys a flirtatious relationship with Charlotte.
Dr. Grimwig, foppish doctor and friend of Mr. Brownlow. He assesses Oliver's condition at the beginning of Act II, deeming him fit to go outside.
Charley Bates, one of Fagin's pickpockets. He is Dodger's sidekick.
Mrs. Bedwin, house-servant to Mr. Brownlow and caretaker of Oliver.
Old Sally, nurse at Oliver's birth. Old Sally steals Agne's (Oliver's mother's) gold locket which is the only clue to Oliver's identity. Before she dies, she gives the locket to Mr. Bumble and Mrs. Corney.
Bet, a prostitute and a former pickpocket of Fagin. Bet is not much older than Oliver. She is Nancy's friend and the first to find Nancy when she is dead.
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Ed Sullivan Show février 1964
Oliver! (1963-01-Original Broadway Run-Imperial Theatre)
Qualité: *** Intérêt: ***
Langue: Anglais Durée: 0:03:05
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