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Oliver! cancels first two shows

Published 11 December 2008

The musical Oliver!, which was due to start previewing on Friday, has cancelled its first two performances at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in order to allow more rehearsal time for the large cast. The show now begins previews this Saturday evening, 13 December.

The show, which stars Jodie Prenger and Rowan Atkinson, has an adult cast of 35 plus three teams of 50 children who alternate between performances. In a statement, producer Cameron Mackintosh said: “Due to the complexity of the production and the need to safely rehearse 150 children with the adult company of 35 actors on a moving set, we have decided that we need extra rehearsal time and therefore, with great regret, I have decided to cancel the first two previews.

“I am terribly sorry for the disappointment this will cause, but my team are doing everything to reseat patrons into future performances as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we are working towards creating a fantastic show which will be the largest production of Oliver! ever seen.”

Those who hold tickets for the cancelled performances (12 December 19:30 and 13 December 14:30) are advised to contact their original point of sale to arrange an exchange or refund.

This production of Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! is based on the staging at the London Palladium in 1994, which was directed by Sam Mendes. Laurence Olivier Award-winning director Rupert Goold takes on directing duties for this revival at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

The show is the latest to be cast using reality television, with Prenger winning the right to play Nancy in the BBC programme I’d Do Anything earlier this year. The three boys playing young orphan Oliver – Gwion Jones, Harry Stott and Laurence Jeffcoate – were also cast on the same programme.

Oliver! also stars Atkinson as Fagin, Burn Gorman as Bill Sikes, plus Julian Glover, Rosemary Leach, Julian Bleach and Louise Gold. Tamsin Carroll will play Nancy on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.



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We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.