Consider yourself in for a treat - company prepares for its production of Oliver! at Theatre Royal

Fagin and his young gang
Fagin and his young gang

Members of Wakefield West Riding Theatre Company are determined to have you shouting for more as they present Oliver! at the Theatre Royal.

The Lionel Bart musical is being directed and choreographer for the company by professional Dee Bennie-Marshall.

She has worked on musicals throughout Yorkshire and started in show business 40 years ago when she toured Europe as a performer at the age of 17.

Dee started working with the Wakefield company 20 years ago after a colleague brought her in to help out with the choreography.

She has directed and choreographed more than 100 shows including Miss Saigon, Phantom Of The Opera , Les Miserables, Our House, West Side Story, Ghost, Sister Act, Evita, Priscilla Queen of The Desert, Rent, Wizard of Oz, 42nd Street, Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

"Oliver! presents many challenges. They say never work with children and dogs in theatre, but I really enjoy working with young talented performers, and encouraging them to believe in themselves," said Dee.

"After all the children are the future of theatre. We have two teams of children that work alternate nights, which in itself can be very demanding for the adult cast that need to do everything twice.Once for each team. The biggest challenge of all is casting the show correctly, getting that exactly right is the secret to a top quality production.

"My favourite part of being a director is watching everything coming together from the first planning session to the opening night. Seeing the delight on the faces of all the cast and crew as they reap the rewards of months of work after hearing all the applause.

"Also being part of the journey that some of the young people make to living their dream on stage either as a professional in the West End or an amateur in local theatres."

Oliver! is based on the Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist and is about an orphan who falls in with a gang of thieves led by Fagin in London. The score includes Pick a Pocket or Two, Consider Yourself, As Long As He Needs Me, Oom Pah-Pah, It's a Fine Life, I'd Do Anything and Where is Love.

The cast of principles for Wakefield West Riding Company are: Nancy: Grace English; Fagin: David Hookham; Sykes: James Tennant

Mr Bumble: Steven Holt; Widow Corney: Rachel Marshall; Mr Sowerby: Ian Fryer; Mrs Sowerby: Christine Shoesmith

Oliver:Benji Collins/ Noah Firth; Artful Dodger Brandon Fletcher/Tom Skinner.

"Convincing people to come and see the musical productions is easy if you have a good reputation, and a good cast. This musical certainly has that.

"With a sterling cast , including an excellent dance team, and talented children, the audience are in for a treat. We even have a talented dog."

Oliver! can be seen at Wakefield Theatre Royal from Tuesday May 14 to Saturday May 18. Performances are daily at 7.15pm plus a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm.

Tickets: 01924 211 311 or on line here