PREVIEW – Oliver!, The Theatre Royal, Newcastle

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CONSIDER yourself in for a treat – you’ll not want more when the West End hit Oliver! comes to Newcastle Theatre Royal for a mammoth eight-week run from September 12 to November 3, starring Brain Conley as Fagin.

It will be the longest run of a show at the theatre in 14 years.

Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Lionel Bart’s smash-hit musical features Bart’s score with songs including Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, You’ve Got to Pick-a-Pocket or Two, I’d Do Anything, Oom Pah Pah and As Long As He Needs Me.

Its eight-week stint at the Theatre Royal this autumn will be the longest run of any show (outside pantomime) at the historic theatre since Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats in 1998, which ran for 10 weeks and was attended by Princess Anne.

Oliver! recently completed a two-year run on Drury Lane in London where it opened to rave reviews, sell-out business and the biggest advance sales of all time for a West End show.

Two years ago, Oliver! celebrated its 50th birthday, having premiered in the West End in 1960, and is coming to Newcastle in the year of Charles Dickens’ bicentenary.

Brian Conley’s West End stage credits include Edna Turnblad in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, as well as originating the role of Al Jolson in Jolson at the Victoria Palace for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

On television, he is probably best known for playing Doug Digby in The Grimleys, his ITV1 show The Brian Conley Show, An Audience with Brian Conley and numerous Royal Variety Performances.

Tickets are £15.50 - £47.50 from tel. 08448 11 21 21.