Lionel Bart... Book music and lyrics.
It is perhaps only fitting that the man
who first opened the door on today's millions of entertainment treasure
of Charles Dickens' genius, by using it as inspiration for a musical, is
himself a rarity - the triple-threat creator who writes everything in
the show: the score, the lyrics and the book. And it is somehow
especially fitting that Lionel Bart, who was at the time 36 England's
most famous author of modern-day musicals, should have chosen "Oliver!"
with which to do it. For like Oliver, Bart came from humble cockney
beginnings. Bart's first popular success drew directly on his own
un-affluent childhood. It was called "Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be,"
and it opened up new horizons in the London musical theatre. As a child
Bart's favourite chocolate bar came wrapped with a picture of Oliver
Twist crying for more; 25 years later, he wrote "Oliver!" He had sensed
a built-in theatricalism in Dickens, who was a would-be playwright
himself. The master story-teller, who wrote "Oliver Twist" over a
century ago, had been called by the distinguished literary critic,
Edmund Wilson, "the greatest dramatic writer Great Britain had since Shakespeare..."
Vernon Harris... Screen Play.
Though he had written the scripts for many films,
Vernon Harris started off in show business as an actor. Infract, he
played Mr. Brownlow in a dramatic stage version of "Oliver Twist" many
years ago. He found the musical "Oliver!" a "brilliant idea," and
sought, he says, to be faithful to it, and 'to retain all the verse, the
excitement and, most importantly, the originality of Lionel Bart's stage
conception.' His tribute to the original novel was refreshing in its
frankness. Harris described himself as no "confirmed Dickens lover," yet
he discovered anew that the tale of Oliver "hypnotized me - I had to
know how it all finished!''
For more cast and crew info please visit:
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"Oliver!" The musical everyone wants to see!