Nothing works on the stage like a well-crafted tale, and OLIVER! is just such a show.
Based on the Dickens novel, it will engage your audience with its pathos and drama, while delighting everyone with its outstanding musical numbers.
Food, Glorious Food, I’d Do Anything, Where is Love?, Consider Yourself, As Long As He Needs Me, Who Will Buy and Reviewing the Situation are musical theatre classics.
Dickens’ characters are brought to life — perhaps larger than life — with all their facets glowing in this production.

*Music samples courtesy of Jay Records and Hollis Music.

Oliver! Quote Request & Licensing

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • The curtain opens on the sinister interior of the workhouse with a bare dining table, center stage, where the boys will sit. These pale-faced wretches can be seen peering through the bars of a door at the back. Looming above two curving stairways glows the legend “God Is Love” in rough letters. The door is opened and the boys file to the table and sing Food, Glorious Food. At the end of the song, the Widow Corney, who runs the workhouse and Mr. Bumble, the parish beadle, enter and a thin gruel is served. Wolfing the meagre fare, the boys hopelessly stack their bowls, but the hapless Oliver approaches Bumble with the entreaty, “Please sir, I want some more.” He is instantly subdued. Oliver is locked behind the barred door as the rest of the boys exit upstairs.
    Oliver is brought forward, bag and baggage, and is led off by Bumble who sings the haunting Boy for Sale. Walking through the streets of London, they arrive at Mr. Sowerberry’s, the undertaker. Oliver is “sold” to the undertaker. Alone and frightened and surrounded by coffins on stage, he sings the plaintive Where Is Love?
    Oliver runs away the very next morning, and is picked up hungry and tired in the streets by the Artful Dodger who cheers him up with Consider YourselfThe Dodger leads him through crowded streets to Fagin’s kitchen. The boys come in and Fagin himself appears and, with a mock solemn welcome to Oliver, sings the fantastic You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two. Nancy, Bill Sikes’ girl and Bet arrive. The two of them, accompanied by the boys and Fagin, celebrate their way of life in It’s a Fine Life. The action moves to the next morning when Fagin sends the boys off on a pocket-picking expedition, Oliver among them. The stage now displays a city scene and we witness the capture of Oliver, not for picking pockets, but for simply looking guilty.
    In the second act the curtain rises on the “Three Cripples”-an underworld tavern-where Nancy is being encouraged to sing a music hall number, Oom-Pah-Pah. Fagin’s boys pour down the stairs telling of Oliver’s apprehension by the police, at the same time revealing that his innocence has been established and that he is presently ensconced in the home of a rich old gentleman. Fearful lest he give away their set-up, Fagin and Sikes dispatch Nancy to get Oliver back.
    Meanwhile, at the home of his new-found benefactor, the erstwhile ragged Oliver has become a well-tailored, well-cared for little lad. Looking out of his bedroom window he observes some passing street vendors crying their wares; he sings Who Will Buy? A plea that his good luck and new situation in life will be permanent. However, the moment he sets foot outside his benefactor’s house, Oliver is seized and dragged off by Nancy to Fagin’s.
    In the next scene Fagin occupies the empty stage and considers going straight in Reviewing the Situation. Subsequently, Bumble and Mrs. Corney, now uncomfortably married, discover that Oliver is the scion of a rich family. Their scheme to get him back fails and Nancy, regretting her part in the capture of Oliver, plans to return him to his benefactor at night on London Bridge. Fearful of Sikes, she reprises As Long as He Needs Me. Sikes stalks her and kills her. He grabs Oliver and, after a chase, is himself shot dead. Oliver is restored to his benefactor and Fagin, now without boys, home and money, reprises Reviewing the Situation.

  • Music, Lyrics and Book by Lionel Bart
    Licensed by Arrangement with Oliver Productions, Ltd.
    and Oliver Promotions, Ltd.

  • Choose either Full Orchestration or Combo Instrumentation

    Full Orchestration

    2 Violin I
    1 Violin II
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Reed I: Flute and Piccolo
    1 Reed II: Oboe and English Horn
    1 Reed III: Clarinet and Bass Clarinet
    1 Reed IV: Bassoon

    1 Horns I & II
    1 Trumpets I & II
    1 Trombone I
    1 Trombone II

    1 Piano

    2 Percussion I & II

    Percussion I:
    Trap Set (Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Hi-Hat, Suspended Cymbals)

    Percussion II:
    Timpani (2 drums), Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Chimes, Triangle, Wood Block, Temple Blocks (2), Tambourine, Cow Bell; brushes and sticks

    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material

    Optional additional materials are available (see list under Rehearsal Materials).

    Combo Instrumentation

    1 Violin (1 player)
    1 Cello (1 player)
    1 Bass

    1 Reed I: Flute & Piccolo
    1 Reed II: Oboe & English Horn
    1 Reed III: Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
    1 Reed IV: Bassoon

    1 Horn
    1 Trombone

    1 Piano

    2 Percussion I & II

    Percussion I:
    Trap Set (Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Hi-Hat, Suspended Cymbals)

    Percussion II:
    Timpani (2 drums), Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Chimes, Triangle, Wood Block, Temple Blocks (2), Tambourine, Cow Bell; brushes and sticks

    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material

    Optional additional materials are available (see list under Rehearsal Materials).

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book
    6       Prompt Books for Principal Characters
    21     Dialogue Parts
    36     Chorus-Vocal Parts

    Optional Addtional Materials

    1       Full Score (Partitur) in 2 volumes is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration. [SAMPLE]
    1       Full Score (Partitur) in 2 volumes is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the combo orchestration. [SAMPLE]
    1       Stage Manager’s Guide

  • Principals

    (5 female; 6 male)

    Oliver Twist — a workhouse boy about 13 years of age
    Mr. Bumble, The Beadle — a large, pompous man of 55
    Widow Corney — a sharp-tongued, domineering widow of 50; the Workhouse Mistress
    Mr. Sowerberry — the Undertaker
    Mrs. Sowerberry — his overseer
    The Artful Dodger — Fagin’s brightest pupil; an undersized 18-year-old
    Fagin — an elderly receiver; runs training academy for young pickpockets
    Nancy — 23 years old; a graduate of Fagin’s academy, and Bill’s doxy
    Bet — a 13-year-old lass in Fagin’s establishment; idolizes Nancy
    Bill Sykes — a villain in his prime
    Mrs. Bedwin — the Brownlows’ Housekeeper


    Noah Claypoole — the Undertaker’s pimply apprentice
    Charlotte — the Sowerberrys’ sluttish young daughter
    Charles Bates and other Boys in Fagin’s establishment
    Old Sally — a pauper
    Old Lady
    Mr. Brownlow — an old gentleman of wealth and breeding
    Dr. Grimwig — a Doctor
    First Woman
    Second Woman
    Night Watchman
    First Bow Street Runner
    Second Bow Street Runner
    Man, Second Man, Third Man and Fourth Man


    Workhouse Boys
    Workhouse Assistants
    Bow Street Runners
    Street Vendors (Criers)
    Crowd of Onlookers and Passersby

    The original Broadway production had a cast of 44 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.

  • OLIVER! was first presented in London, where it played for 2,618 performances at the New Theatre. It played for 774 performances on Broadway at the Imperial and Shubert Theatres starring Georgia Brown and Clive Revill as Nancy and Fagin. It has been revived on Broadway several times, as in 1984 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, and in London in 1994 at the Palladium starring Jonathan Pryce as Fagin.

    AWARDS (1963)

    3 Tony Awards for Composer/Lyricist, Musical Director, and Scenic Designer

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

    Search for performances near you
    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Country Gate Players BELVIDERE, NJ 03/21/2015 03/29/2015
    Bethlehem Central High School DELMAR, NY 03/26/2015 03/29/2015
    Sing Hosanna! BUTLER, PA 03/27/2015 03/29/2015
    Glebe Neighborhood Activities Group OTTAWA, ON 03/27/2015 03/29/2015
    St. Francis School GOSHEN, KY 03/27/2015 04/01/2015
    St. Mary's High School ANNAPOLIS, MD 03/27/2015 03/29/2015
    Roeper School BIRMINGHAM, MI 03/27/2015 03/29/2015
    Holy Spirit High School ABSECON, NJ 03/27/2015 03/29/2015
    Buckley Country Day School ROSLYN, NY 03/30/2015 04/01/2015
    Learning Community Charter School JERSEY CITY, NJ 04/01/2015 04/02/2015
    4 Kidz Sake of Wichita Falls, Inc. WICHITA FALLS, TX 04/03/2015 04/18/2015
    British Academy of Performing Arts MARIETTA, GA 04/04/2015 04/04/2015
    Merrill High School MERRILL, WI 04/08/2015 04/11/2015
    Broken Arrow Public School BROKEN ARROW, OK 04/09/2015 04/11/2015
    Woodstock Musical Theatre Co. WOODSTOCK, IL 04/10/2015 04/26/2015
    The Pine School HOBE SOUNDS, FL 04/10/2015 04/11/2015
    Masterworx Theater LYNCHBURG, VA 04/10/2015 04/19/2015
    Theatre Shenandoah EDINBURG, VA 04/10/2015 04/26/2015
    Rawson-Saunders School AUSTIN, TX 04/14/2015 04/15/2015
    Perpich Center for Arts Education GOLDEN VALLEY, MN 04/15/2015 04/18/2015
    Timothy Eaton Memorial Church TORONTO, ON 04/16/2015 04/19/2015
    Aspire Middle School LACEY, WA 04/16/2015 04/18/2015
    Moody Bible Institute SPOKANE, WA 04/16/2015 04/18/2015
    Willows Academy DES PLAINES, IL 04/16/2015 04/18/2015
    Northfield Arts Guild NORTHFIELD, MN 04/17/2015 05/03/2015
    MAST Community Charter School PHILADELPHIA, PA 04/17/2015 04/19/2015
    Corunna High School CORUNNA, MI 04/17/2015 04/19/2015
    St. Vincent Pallotti School LAUREL, MD 04/17/2015 04/19/2015
    Liberty Middle School AURORA, CO 04/23/2015 04/25/2015
    Guerin Catholic School NOBLESVILLE, IN 04/23/2015 05/02/2015
    Lincoln High School TACOMA, WA 04/24/2015 05/02/2015
    Lakeville South High School LAKEVILLE, MN 04/24/2015 05/02/2015
    Northrop High School FORT WAYNE, IN 04/24/2015 04/25/2015
    Cambridge School TAMPA, FL 04/24/2015 04/25/2015
    Oshawa Little Theatre OSHAWA, ON 04/29/2015 05/09/2015
    Basis Independent Silicon Valley SAN JOSE, CA 04/30/2015 05/02/2015
    Eagle's Landing Christian Academy MCDONOUGH, GA 04/30/2015 05/02/2015
    Music Theatre for Young People WICHITA, KS 05/01/2015 05/03/2015
    Pickerington Community Theatre REYNOLDSBURG, OH 05/01/2015 05/10/2015
    St. Lawrence Seminary MT. CALVARY, WI 05/01/2015 05/03/2015
    Westminster Catawba Christian School ROCK HILL, SC 05/01/2015 05/02/2015
    King School STAMFORD, CT 05/01/2015 05/01/2015
    Toronto Beaches Children's Chorus TORONTO, ON 05/01/2015 05/02/2015
    The Play's the Thing Productions LAKEVILLE, MN 05/01/2015 05/10/2015
    Nazarene Christian Academy NEW BEDFORD, MA 05/01/2015 05/09/2015
    Rocky Run Middle School CHANTILLY, VA 05/01/2015 05/03/2015
    Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts MARYSVILLE, CA 05/07/2015 05/17/2015
    Woodcliff Lake Middle School WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ 05/07/2015 05/08/2015
    North College Hill Sr. High School CINCINNATI, OH 05/08/2015 05/09/2015
    St. Luke's Players UPPER TANTALLON, NS 05/08/2015 05/10/2015
    Massasoit Community College BROCKTON, MA 05/08/2015 05/19/2015
    South Iredell High School STATESVILLE, NC 05/14/2015 05/16/2015
    Children's Theatre of Charlotte Inc. CHARLOTTE, NC 05/15/2015 05/16/2015
    Beck Center for the Cultural Arts LAKEWOOD, OH 05/15/2015 05/24/2015
    Rainard School HOUSTON, TX 05/15/2015 05/15/2015
    Good Company Players FRESNO, CA 05/21/2015 07/12/2015
    The Wheeler School PROVIDENCE, RI 05/21/2015 05/22/2015
    Theatre Three Productions PORT JEFFERSON, NY 05/23/2015 06/27/2015
    Cardinal Newman Catholic School STONY CREEK, ON 05/26/2015 05/29/2015
    Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School HAMILTON, ON 05/26/2015 06/06/2015
    Lasalle Secondary School SUDBURY, ON 05/27/2015 05/30/2015
    St. Philip's Anglican Church VANCOUVER, BC 05/27/2015 05/30/2015
    Nova Classical Academy ST. PAUL, MN 05/29/2015 05/31/2015
    Pan American Dance Foundation HURLEY, NY 05/29/2015 05/31/2015
    The Phoenix Symphony Association PHOENIX, AZ 05/29/2015 05/31/2015
    Artbarn Community Theater BROOKLINE VILLAGE, MA 05/30/2015 05/31/2015
    Forge Theatre PHOENIXVILLE, PA 06/03/2015 06/26/2015
    Central Piedmont Community College CHARLOTTE, NC 06/05/2015 06/13/2015
    Maspeth Town Hall Inc. MASPETH, NY 06/05/2015 06/06/2015
    Northbrook Park District NORTHBROOK, IL 06/05/2015 06/07/2015
    The Mainstage Inc. MISHAWAKA, IN 06/12/2015 06/13/2015
    Music in Motion Performing Arts Studio BRADFORD, ON 06/13/2015 06/13/2015
    Musical Masquers, Inc. WEST BEND, WI 06/19/2015 06/27/2015
    Lees-McRae College BANNER ELK, NC 06/26/2015 07/03/2015
    Worthington Players SHAWNEE, PA 07/03/2015 08/29/2015
    Phoenix Theatre RED WING, MN 07/09/2015 07/19/2015
    Broadway Bound Vista Theatre Project IRMO, SC 07/09/2015 07/12/2015
    Bluff City Theater HANNIBAL, MO 07/09/2015 08/01/2015
    West T. Hill Community Theatre DANVILLE, KY 07/09/2015 07/19/2015
    Cookeville Children's Theatre COOKEVILLE, TN 07/10/2015 07/25/2015
    Theatre Under the Stars VANCOUVER, BC 07/11/2015 08/28/2015
    Theatrical Arts At Forestburgh FORESTBURGH, NY 07/14/2015 07/26/2015
    Green Room Theatre Company PALM DESERT, CA 07/15/2015 07/16/2015
    Hershey Area Playhouse HERSHEY, PA 07/16/2015 07/26/2015
    Red House Arts Center SYRACUSE, NY 07/16/2015 07/25/2015
    City of Leawood LEAWOOD, KS 07/16/2015 07/25/2015
    River Valley Theatre Company SHAKOPEE, MN 07/17/2015 07/26/2015
    Buffalo Community Theater BUFFALO, MN 07/17/2015 07/25/2015
    Off Broadway Musical Theatre PLYMOUTH, MN 07/23/2015 08/08/2015
    Adventure Theatre, Inc. GLEN ECHO, MD 07/24/2015 08/17/2015
    Fountain City Festival BRYAN, OH 07/30/2015 08/02/2015
    Ashtabula Arts Center ASHTABULA, OH 07/31/2015 08/15/2015
    Salem Community Theatre SALEM, OH 07/31/2015 08/16/2015
    Footlights Summer Theatre FAIRVIEW, PA 08/05/2015 08/07/2015
    Olean Theatre Workshop OLEAN, NY 08/06/2015 08/08/2015
    Community Players of Streator, Inc. STREATOR, IL 08/09/2015 08/15/2015
    Shoestring Theatre Company CAMPBELL, CA 08/22/2015 08/30/2015
    Roxy Productions, Inc. CLARKSVILLE, TN 09/25/2015 10/16/2015
    Anacortes Community Theatre ANACORTES, WA 09/25/2015 10/24/2015
    Arena Stage WASHINGTON, DC 10/30/2015 01/03/2016
    Seacoast Repertory Theatre PORTSMOUTH, NH 11/13/2015 12/20/2015
    Grand Prairie Arts Council GRAND PRAIRIE, TX 12/04/2015 12/13/2015
    Crested Butte Mountain Theatre CRESTED BUTTE, CO 12/26/2015 01/02/2016
    High Street Arts Center MOORPARK, CA 02/02/2016 03/13/2016
    Theatre Under the Stars HOUSTON, TX 04/05/2016 04/17/2016
    Sinclair Secondary School WHITBY, ON 06/01/2016 06/04/2016
    The Flowertown Players, Inc. SUMMERVILLE, SC 06/03/2016 06/19/2016
    The Park Maitland School MAITLAND, FL 05/21/2088 05/21/2028