Oliver Twist, following on from the popular Christmas Carol, is the second in a series of Charles Dickens adaptations.
Whilst sticking to the original story, this one has a much happier ending for everyone; and has Fagin ‘putting our Narrator right’ on what it was actually like to live in Victorian England.
Cast of 15 speaking parts; or Cast of 30 if including non-speaking parts
Duration: Around 15 minutes not including song suggestions
- A Christmas Carol
- Oliver Twist
- David Copperfield
- Great Expectations
- A tale of two cities
- The Battle of Life
- The Chimes
(Enter Fagin, marching over to Narrator)
Fagin: (Threateningly) Criminal classes, eh? Oh, and I suppose you’d know a lot about what it was like to live in Victorian times, would you?
Narrator: (Spluttering) Well, er, now you come to mention it (pauses) no, not really.
Fagin: Well, allow me to fill you in. Let’s start with how hard it could be especially if you were poor.
Narrator: (Huffily) Well, I’ve no doubt there was social welfare for those who needed it.
Fagin: (Exploding) Social welfare? I’ll show you social welfare! Come with me. My, are you going to have your eyes opened!
Music 2 – Food Glorious Food
Scene 1 The Workhouse
(Fagin takes Narrator to one side as workhouse inmates line up, holding bowls and spoons, with Mr. Bumble standing at the front, ladling out the gruel; Oliver is last in line)
Narrator: (To Fagin) Why are these children dressed in rags? And why are they so filthy? And what is that terrible smell?
Fagin: So many questions! Well, to start with, those rags are all they have! Appearances aren’t too important when you are just trying to stay alive!
Narrator: But where are their parents?
Fagin: (Laughing) They have no parents! They’re all orphans. They have nowhere to go but the workhouse! (Pauses) And before you ask, that’s gruel they’re getting in those bowls! Pretty disgusting but, like I said, keeps them alive. Better that than dying on the streets.
(Oliver takes his bowl and sits with the rest; then gets up and stands in front of Mr. Bumble a second time)
Also available: Meet the Victorians.