Please Sir, Can We Have Some More? Exposed catches up with the cast of Oliver!
Everyone loves a musical – and this winter the Crucible theatre is indulging us with their production of the classic and much loved tale of an orphan boy named Oliver! The run starts this Friday and we had a chat with the cast.
In attendance was Ben Richards – who you can expect to see donning a top hat and a scowl in the notorious role of Bill Sykes. He sang the praises of both the venue and director Daniel Evans. Not literally of course, but with his strong background in musical theatre he easily could – he appeared in his first musical aged just 12. But he’s still excited about stepping out onto that stage. “The Crucible has such a unique design and it’s an absolute privilege to perform here. Dan is a brilliant director, he gently moulds it so we all complement each other. They’re both up there with the best in the country.” As for the juicy role of Bill Sykes, Ben can’t wait to get stuck in. “He’s such an interesting character,” he told us. “I’m looking forward to putting my own spin on it.”
We also had a chat with the delightful Hayley Gallivan who hopes to do justice to the character of Nancy straight off the back of her run as standby Elphaba in the West End production of Wicked. She talked to us about her admiration of Nancy, saying: “In spite of the impossible conditions of the London slums and this horrible environment she’s in, she’s still a ray of sunshine – and an amazing character to play.” She also gets one of the best songs, the tragic As Long As He Needs Me. “I love the song,” she said. “It’s brilliantly written – and there are so many iconic songs. It’s a show with real heart, characters and situations – so it’s important that we give it as much reality as possible.” Of course, Oliver! features a large ensemble of children, who impressed Hayley with their youthful talent. “I was flabbergasted at how brilliant all the kids are!”
Joining them is Tom Edden, known most recently for his critically acclaimed performance of Alfie as part of the original cast of One Man, Two Guvnors at the National Theatre. He told us about his role as the notorious Fagin. “He’s not as evil as he’s cracked up to be – honest. After all, he does take care of a bunch of orphan children. He’s providing a modicum of safety and security for these boys, who would otherwise be living on the street or in the workhouse.” He too gets some of the show’s most memorable songs. “The devil has the best tunes,” Tom smiled. “Recently I’ve played a lizard, a French accountant, a painter and a waiter. Now I’m taking on this great part and I don’t want to do him a disservice.” On the show, Tom added: “Hopefully people will come because it’s familiar. Our job is to not take it for granted. We’ll certainly be doing the story justice.”
With a brilliant cast and top creative director this is sure to be a sell-out production. Tickets from £17, visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk for info on dates and times.