Consider yourself ready for a Dickens classic

Lucy Walton (Nancy), William Aycliffe (Oliver) and Jonny Woollett (Fagin)
Lucy Walton (Nancy), William Aycliffe (Oliver) and Jonny Woollett (Fagin)

Oliver won’t be the only one asking for more if Ponteland Repertory Society’s latest production goes to plan. Thespians from the society have just began rehearsals for Oliver! The Musical.

Oliver! for those who may not know, is the story of one orphan boy who is destined for more than just the workhouse.

He escapes life as an undertaker’s apprentice and heads to the misty city of London.

Oliver quickly mixes with the wrong crowd and turns to a life of pickpocketing under the watchful eye of The Artful Dodger and the ruthless Fagin.

In the mix of all this is the struggingly relationship between Bill Sykes and Nancy.

Despite it’s dark themes, the show is littered with superb, toe-tapping songs including Gotta Pick a Pocket or Two, Where Is Love, Food Glorious Food, Who Will Buy and many more.

Rehearsals have started for the successful Ponteland Reps, who have been performing plays and musicals since 1927.

Because of licensing rules, the group has had to double some of the younger roles. William Aycliffe, who lives in Scots Gap, and Cameron Davison, from Consett, are joining Ponteland Repertory Society to share the title role.

Both boys are no strangers to the stage, William has played the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk and the King in Aladdin at Chantry Middle School. Cameron has also performed a number of roles such as Gavroche in Les Miserables and Samuel in Pirates of Penzance.

They will be joined by Ponteland High School students, Andrew Potter as the Artful Dodger and Hannah Elliott as Bet.

Returning to lead roles are Jonny Woollett as Fagin and Lucy Walton, from Ponteland.

Lucy recently gained a place on the inaugural acting training course, Project A at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal.

Both Lucy and Jonny joined the Rep in 2013 when they played the parts of Jo Jo Jangles and Fairy Flutter in the pantomime Sleeping Beauty.

The children in the production includes The Preppies, the Rep’s Youth Theatre. The group was founded by Oliver’s director Carole Davies in 2014, and Lucy has taken on the role of assistant leader of the group. Preppies has grown in numbers from the original eight to more than 40, and all these young people will be taking part in the show.

The group will will be on stage with their finished performances from Wednesday, November 25, to Saturday, November 28. Tickets are £8 for adults, £6 for children. Available online at www.pont