Future West End stars bring Oliver! to the stage in Southend
A much loved musical based on a book by an author celebrating his bicentenary is taking to the stage at an Essex theatre enjoying its centenary.
More than 50 youngsters from across the county aged 8 to 21 years which are hoping to follow in the footsteps of Southend stars Denise Van Outen and Lee Mead to the West End are staging a new production of Oliver! at the Palace Theatre in Westcliff from 6-10 June 2012.
The Lionel Bart musical is based on the classic Charles Dickens novel and features many familiar songs such as Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself and Gotta Pick a Pocket or Two.
It’s another – and possibly the last - production from Southend-based Solomon Artistes, which has a philosophy of giving youngsters who would like a career on the stage, the opportunity to see what it’s really like - and at a reasonable cost.
Producer and Director Ted Houser says “I am just passionate about giving talented young actors a chance to shine. Thanks to my contacts we have had West End casting directors and agents in the audience for previous productions and as a result, have seen kids we’ve trained go on to enjoy successful careers on the West End stage and TV screens – something I am incredibly proud of.”
Ted says this likely to be his last show. He says “Putting these shows on is very stressful so after doing it for far too many years to mention it’s about time for me to bow out and let someone else get involved. Oliver! is the perfect choice for my final show, it’s a special year with bicentenary of Charles Dickens birth and 100 years of the Palace Theatre. Plus Lionel Bart who wrote the show was a charming and generous colleague who gave me lots of wonderful advice. I truly would love to fill the theatre in tribute to two special writers and a fantastic theatre.”
And a local charity is benefitting too – 50% of the net profits from the the first night (6 June) are being donated to Havens Hospice, with a bucket collection also taking place.
Oliver! is being performed at the Palace Theatre from 6 to 10 June at 7.30pm, with 2.30pm matinees on Sat 9 and Sun 10 June. Tickets cost £15 for adults and £12 for Senior Citizens / Children.
To book tickets contact the Southend Theatres Box Office on 01702 351135 / www.southendtheatres.org.uk
Find out more about Solomon Artistes at www.solomon-artistes.co.uk
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