YORK Light Opera Company follow last year’s smash hit production of Grease with the family favourite classic musical Lionel Bart’s Oliver! at York Theatre Royal from February 12 to 22.

This is the company’s 60th consecutive year performing on York Theatre Royal’s main house stage – and 60 years since Lionel Bart’s musical made its London West End debut.

Based on the classic Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, the musical sees the streets of Victorian England come to life with the timeless story of the boy who dared to ask for more. Escaping from the workhouse, young Oliver finds himself in London’s murky underworld where he gets mixed up with conniving Fagin and his gang of young thieves led by the Artful Dodger, and the dangerous Bill Sykes and the lovely Nancy.

Emma-Louise Dickinson, last seen as Rizzo in Grease, plays Nancy with Jonny Holbeck as villainous Bill Sykes. His canine companion Bullseye is played by two English Bull terriers cast after doggy auditions.

Playing Fagin is Rory Mulvihill, whose appearances with York theatre companies include playing both Jesus and Satan in The York Mystery Plays, Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady and Sgt Wilson in the stage version of Dad’s Army.

The 40-strong company of adults, children and two dogs features Alex Edmondson and Matthew Warry in the role of Oliver, while the Artful Dodger is played by Jack Hambleton and Sam Piercy. Neil Wood is Mr Bumble and Pascha Turnbull is Widow Corney.

The songs in Lionel Bart’s musical hardly need an introduction - they include Consider Yourself, Food Glorious Food, You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket or Two, Oom-pah-pah and the powerful As Long As He Needs Me.

“This show for all ages will tug at your heart strings, put a smile on your face and certainly make you ask for more,” said a York Light spokesperson.

For more information and tickets contact the York Thearre Royal Box office on 01904 623568 or go to yorktheatreroyal.co.uk