Whether you know it from the fantastic ‘Food Glorious Food!’, the iconic ‘Please, sir, I want some more’, or one of the other memorable songs, 'Oliver!' written by Lionel Bart, is a melodious, magical and (in some parts) melancholy musical that is based upon the 1838 novel ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens. It was first performed at the Wimbledon Theatre in 1960 before opening in the West End. Thousands of performances of ‘Oliver!’ have since taken place across the country - and it remains one of the most popular musicals that school create a production of. 

I was lucky enough to be a part of my school’s recent production of ‘Oliver!’ and it has been one of the most exciting experiences I have had. At the start of the Autumn Term, when we found out the school would be preparing for a production of Oliver, I was thrilled but very nervous about the required audition. But once the cast was announced, and I was awarded a part,  rehearsals started promptly afterwards.  I really enjoyed them and began to learn my lines.

Time flew by and suddenly the show was in a couple of weeks!  The excitement continued to build the closer we got to the first night of the show. We practised and we practised, culminating in whole show run throughs and a final dress rehearsal where we were joined by the school orchestra. Everything started to come together.

At last, the big day arrived. After school, everyone put on their costumes, the theatrical make-up was applied, and we then waited for the doors to open to the audience at 6pm. The adrenaline rush hit me just before the curtains were drawn back. My heart was beating fast, I had butterflies in my stomach, and I felt nervous. But then we began and it all changed. From that point on I had fun and it was exhilarating to act and sing on stage in front of the audience.  

All three shows were wonderful, and they ran smoothly (well...mostly). I loved performing in what was a successful school production. One thing that above all made the experience so worthwhile - was the cast. I made many new friends during rehearsals, from across the various year groups.

As Nancy said, "It's a Fine Life!"