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Oliver! Sheet Music

Oliver! Oliver! is a British musical, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. It first appeared in the West End in 1960, enjoying a long run, and was made into a film directed by Carol Reed in 1968.

The musical is loosely based upon the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. That it was the first musical adaptation of a Charles Dickens work to become a stage hit was one of the reasons why it attracted such attention. There had been two previous Dickens musicals in the 1950s, both of them television adaptations of A Christmas Carol, but the dramatic story of Oliver Twist was the first Dickens work to be presented as a successful stage musical. Another reason for the success of the musical was the revolving stage set, an innovation designed by Sean Kenny.

The show launched the careers of several child actors, including Davy Jones, later of The Monkees; Phil Collins, later of Genesis; and Tony Robinson, who later played the role of Baldrick in the television series Black Adder. The singer Steve Marriott (Small Faces, Humble Pie) also featured in early line-ups, eventually graduating to the role of Artful Dodger in the West End production.

The plot of Dickens's original novel is considerably simplified for the purposes of the musical, with Fagin being represented more as a comic character than as a villain, and large portions of the latter part of the story being completely left out. Although Dickens' novel has been called antisemitic in its portrayal of the Jew Fagin as evil, the production by Bart (himself a Jew) featured many Jewish actors in leading roles: Ron Moody (Ronald Moodnik), Georgia Brown (Lilian Klot), and Martin Horsey.
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