Omid Djalili Fagin in Olivier! from 20 July 2009

Omid Djalili ‘Fagin’ in Olivier! from 20 July 2009

Actor and comedian Omid Djalili will be the next star to play ‘Fagin’ in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane from Monday 20 July 2009.

Omid Djalili, who replaces Rowan Atkinson, will play the part of 'Fagin' to 12 Dec 2009. Omid is probably best known as a stand up comedian. He was most recently seen in his own show for BBC1, ‘The Omid Djalili Show’, which he both wrote and starred in. In the United States he co-starred with Whoopi Goldberg in her sitcom “Whoopi” on NBC. He has appeared in numerous films including “The Mummy”, “Gladiator” and “Pirates of the Caribbean III”.

Cameron Mackintosh said, “OLIVER! has been a success beyond my wildest dreams and I’m thrilled that Rowan Atkinson has had such a tremendous triumph in a role I always thought he was born to play. The only way to follow such a unique performance is with a talent just as unique yet entirely different. No one could fulfil this criteria better than Omid Djalili. Omid started his career as an actor but was soon to become a major television star and one of the funniest comic actors and writers in Britain who regularly plays unforgettable cameos in movies. It is his ability to inhabit his characters with such comic energy and wily cunning that will make his Fagin his own. Undoubtedly the first Iranian ever to portray Dicken’s legendry Jewish creation we all look forward to him becoming part of the family next July.”

Winner of BBC reality show 'I’d Do Anything' Jodie Prenger will continue to play 'Nancy' until to 12 Dec 2009.

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.

The new booking period goes on sale on 23 February 2009 and OLIVER! will then be booking through to 27 February 2010.

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