Cameron Mackintosh will join Andrew Lloyd Webber in the BBC’s latest West End talent search, this time to find an actress to play Nancy and three young boys to fill the title role in the musical Oliver!
I’d Do Anything – which takes its name from a song in the musical – is the BBC’s follow up to How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do, the Graham Norton-fronted TV shows that made West End stars out of Connie Fisher (The Sound Of Music) and Lee Mead (Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) respectively.
Norton and Lloyd Webber join forces once again for the new search, in which finalists perform in a weekly live programme in front of a panel of judges. Theatre impresario Mackintosh, who produced the 1994 London Palladium production of Oliver!, will also be involved in the television series.
Elaine Bedell, Controller of Entertainment Commissioning at the BBC, commented: "We're really pleased to be building on the success of Any Dream Will Do with a new search for West End stars next year. Oliver! is a much-loved British musical so we're sure the show will unite families and melt hearts across the UK as we watch some of Britain's best new talent take centre stage."
Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! is based on Charles Dickens’s classic novel Oliver Twist and includes the famous songs Consider Yourself, Food Glorious Food and I’d Do Anything. First produced in the West End in 1960, the show was made into a popular film in 1968 starring Mark Lester as Oliver. The 1994 London stage production was directed by Sam Mendes and had a cast including Jonathan Pryce as Fagin and Sally Dexter as Nancy.
No venue or dates have yet been confirmed for the 2008 revival of Oliver!, which will follow the TV series. Auditions for I’d Do Anything take place in early 2008.