Oliver is an English musical based on Charles Dicken’s novel Oliver Twist. The music and lyrics were written by Lionel Bart who Andrew Lloyd Webber called “the father of the modern British musical.”

Oliver premiered at the New Theatre (now the Noel Coward Theatre) in the West End on 30 June 1960. It ran for 2 618 performances.

A very short summary of the production from the Broadway Musical Home site is as follows:

After running away from the orphanage run by the heartless Mr. Bumble, Oliver meets the Artful Dodger and is recruited to pick pockets for Fagin. There, Oliver finds a friend in Nancy, but neither she nor the boy are fit for a life of crime.

My favourite songs from the film are as follows:

Oom Pah Pah

(spoken) Ladies and gentlemen, brethren and sinners all! I call upon our Goddess of the Virtues to give us her well known rendition of the old school song — Oom-Pah-Pah!
NANCY
(spoken) All right, shut up, you lot! A bit of culture now! ‘Ere we go…
(sung) There’s a little ditty
They’re singing in the city
Ecspecilly when they’ve been
On the gin
Or the beer
If you’ve got the patience
Your own imaginations
Will tell you just exactly what you want to hear…
ALL
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows
NANCY
They all suppose what they want to suppose
When they hear… oom-pah-pah!!
Mister Percy Snodgrass
Would often have the odd glass —
But never when he thought anybody could see
Secretly he’d buy it
And drink it on the quiet
And dream he was an Earl
Wiv a girl on each knee!
CUSTOMERS AND NANCY
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows…
NANCY
What is the cause of his red shiny nose?
Could it be… oom-pah-pah!?
Pretty little Sally
Goes walking down the alley
Displays her pretty ankles to all of the men
They could see her garters
But not for free-and-gratis–
An inch or two, and then she knows
When to say when!
ALL
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows…
NANCY
Whether it’s hidden, or whether it shows —
It’s the same… oom-pah-pah!
She was from the country
But now she’s up a gum-tree —
She let a feller beat ‘er, then lead ‘er along
What’s the good o’ cryin’?
She’s made a bed to lie in
She’s glad to bring the coin in
And join in this song!
ALL
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes!
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows
NANCY
She is no longer the same blushing rose
Ever since … oom-pah-pah!
(spoken) Altogether now!
NANCY
(sung) There’s a little ditty
They’re singing in the city
Espeshly when they’ve been
On the gin
Or the beer
If you’ve got the patience
Your own imaginations
Will tell you just exactly what you want to hear…
COMPANY
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows
They all suppose what they want to suppose
When they hear… oom-pah-pah!!
ALL
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows
NANCY
They all suppose what they want to suppose
When they hear… oom-pah-pah!!
ALL
Oom-pah-pah!

The other song which I love is I’d do anything. It always makes me think of my Mr Fox and our two small foxes.

Have you seen Oliver, the theater production or the film? Which song is your favourite?

Robbie