Griff Rhys Jones Takes is fagin in Oliver! from 14 Dec

Griff Rhys Jones Takes is fagin in Oliver! from 14 Dec

Griff Rhys Jones is to take over the role of 'Fagin' in Oliver!, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane from 14 Dec 2009 to June 2010 (He replaces Omid Djalili)

Producer Cameron Mackintosh said “I’ve wanted to work with Griff for years so I’m delighted that the marvellous role of ‘Fagin’ has tempted him back to the stage this Christmas. Griff is an actor with an amazing array of successful talents, all of which will undoubtedly be poured into his unique and entertaining interpretation of one of Dickens’ most famous and beloved creations. I can’t wait!”

Griff Rhys Jones became well known in the 1980s when he starred with Mel Smith in a number of comedy TV sketch programmes including "Not the Nine O'Clock News" and "Alas Smith and Jones". His West End credits include "The Front Page" at the Donmar Warehouse in 1997/98 and "Plunder" at the Savoy in 1996/97.

Jodie Prenger has extended her run as 'Nancy' through to March 2010.

Steve Hartley has now joined the cast as 'Bill Sikes', returning to the role he played in the London Palladium production in the mid 1990s. (He replaces Burn Gorman).

Oliver!, opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 14 Jan 2009, following previews from 12 Dec 2008 to reasonably good notices from the popular press: THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "A cracking night of tuneful entertainment." MICHAEL COVENEY for THE INDEPENDENT says, "A masterpiece is restored, but not in its fullest glory." THE TIMES says, "Oliver! remains as good and revivable as anything he [Bart] wrote." THE EVENING STANDARD says, "I felt director Rupert Goold, came up with a traditional, unadventurous Oliver."

It is directed by Rupert Goold & Matthew Bourne, designed by Anthony Ward, lighting by Paule Constable , choreography by Matthew Bourne, sound by Paul Groothuis, Orchestrations by William D Brohn and musical supervision by Martin Koch. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh in association with the Southbrook Group Limited.

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.

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