Oliver! JR.
The Broadway Junior adaptation of the classic novel and award-winning musical springs to life with some of the most memorable characters and songs to ever grace the stage.
Show Essentials
26
Roles
+ Ensemble
PG
Rated
1
Act

Full Synopsis

Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR. opens in a glum workhouse in 19th century England, where the poor, hungry, hardworking children are waiting for dinner ("Food Glorious Food"). The children scarf down their food, but one plucky orphan isn't satisfied; Oliver wants more ("Oliver")! Shocked and perturbed by his boldness, the individuals in charge of the workhouse, Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney, agree to sell Oliver to anyone willing to take him off their hands ("Boy For Sale"). The undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry, pays for the boy, and as Oliver takes in his grim new surroundings, he wonders if anyone will ever love him ("Where Is Love?").

The next morning, the Sowerberrys' apprentice, Noah, comes into the undertaker's parlor and begins bullying Oliver. When Noah says cruel things about Oliver's dead mother, Oliver lunges at him, starting a fight. Mr. Sowerberry tries to send Oliver back to the workhouse, but Oliver flees to the outskirts of London. Oliver happens upon clever pickpocket Dodger, who offers the boy a place to stay with Fagin's Gang of thieves. Oliver accepts and is welcomed by the gang ("Consider Yourself"). Oliver doesn't fully understand what he's gotten himself into, as Fagin explains their "business" ("Pick A Pocket Or Two").

Nancy and her friend Bet pay a visit to Fagin and his thieves the next morning, and though the young women lead dangerous lives of crime, they insist they enjoy it ("It's A Fine Life"). Oliver politely bows when he is introduced to the girls, and the gang makes fun of him for it. Nancy, however, comes to his defense, admiring his manners ("I'd Do Anything"). Fagin then puts the gang to work, sending them out to pickpocket ("Be Back Soon"). Oliver's first day of thievery does not go well when Mr. Brownlow catches the boy stealing his handkerchief. Oliver is apprehended by a Policeman.

That evening, Nancy is present at a boxing match where she sings "the old school song" for a rough crowd (Oom- Pah-Pah). However, the fun quickly ends when brutal burglar Bill Sikes enters ("My Name"). Dodger suddenly rushes in, reporting to Fagin that Oliver has been taken in by Mr. Brownlow. Sikes overhears the conversation and orders Nancy to go steal him back. Nancy doesn't want to take Oliver away from his new home, but her love for Sikes compels her to do as she has been told ("As Long As He Needs Me").

In Mr. Brownlow's home, the housekeeper Mrs. Bedwin affectionately sings Oliver a lullaby ("Where Is Love? - Reprise") while the Market Sellers sell their wares outside ("Who Will Buy? - Part 1"). Dr. Grimwig arrives to check on Oliver's health, but he is suspicious that the boy may be taking advantage of Mr. Brownlow. He suggests Oliver complete an errand for Mr. Brownlow, and Mr. Brownlow agrees. Oliver leaves on his errand, wandering into the market ("Who Will Buy? - Part 2"). Nancy, Bet, and Sikes enter the scene, stealing a struggling Oliver away from his new life.

Once Oliver is back among the thieves, Nancy expresses her regret in helping abduct him ("It's A Fine Life - Reprise"). Fagin privately seems conflicted about his involvement as well ("Reviewing The Situation"). Meanwhile, at the workhouse, Old Sally reveals a secret. She stole a locket from Oliver's mother, who gave birth to the boy and passed away in the workhouse. The locket seems to indicate that Oliver's mother came from a wealthy family. Widow Corney and Mr. Bumble set out to find the boy, intent on making a profit from this information ("Oliver - Reprise").

Widow Corney and Mr. Bumble take the locket to Mr. Brownlow, who realizes the locket belonged to his daughter, making Oliver his grandson. Suddenly, Nancy rushes in, revealing to Mr. Brownlow and Mrs. Bedwin why Oliver has gone missing. She tells them she will return Oliver to them that night. Nancy leaves, but she fails to see that Sikes is following her ("As Long As He Needs Me - Reprise"). Later that night, Sikes confronts Nancy and Bet as they are delivering Oliver to Mr. Brownlow. A struggle ensues, and Oliver breaks free, but Sikes strikes Nancy, ultimately killing her. An angry crowd chases Sikes down, but Sikes jumps off a bridge to his death before they can reach him. After a night of terror, Oliver is reunited with Mr. Brownlow and Mrs. Bedwin. Fagin and his gang, meanwhile, flee from the police, and Fagin considers turning over a new leaf.

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Large (21 or more performers)
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Mr. Bumble

Mr. Bumble runs the workhouse where Oliver finds himself in the beginning of the show. He is cold, cruel, and he doesn’t care one bit about the boys in his workhouse. Cast a good actor and decent singer who reads as older onstage and makes a good team with Widow Corney.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Widow Corney

Widow Corney runs the workhouse along with Mr. Bumble. She is cold and calculating, like Mr. Bumble, and only cares that the work gets done and puts money in her pocket. Cast a good actor and singer who works well with Mr. Bumble.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist is the 11-year-old orphan around which the whole plot of the show revolves. Oliver is intelligent and kind, but he is not afraid to stand up for himself when the situation calls for it. He longs for a family and escapes to London to try to make his fortune – though he has no idea what adventures await him there! Ideally, Oliver should read as younger onstage, but a great singer with a strong stage presence is more important than a physically smaller actor.œ

Gender: male
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Mr. Sowerberry

Mr. Sowerberry is the undertaker who purchases Oliver from Mr. Bumble. He is a callous man who does not treat Oliver much better than Mr. Bumble. He does not sing a solo but should be an actor that pairs well with Mrs. Sowerberry.

Gender: male
Mrs. Sowerberry

Mrs. Sowerberry gives Oliver scraps left for the dog to eat. She, like her husband, does not care at all for Oliver’s well-being and only wants him to work. Cast an actor who pairs well with Mr. Sowerberry.

Gender: female
Charlotte

Charlotte works for the Sowerberrys. She is kinder to Oliver than the others in the Sowerberry home, but not by much. Charlotte has a few lines but does not sing, so feel free to cast a performer new to the stage in this role.

Gender: female
Noah Claypole

Noah Claypole works for the Sowerberrys. He is a mean, nasty person who insults Oliver’s mother on purpose to upset him. Noah should read as older onstage than Oliver and have good stage presence. He does not have to sing.

Gender: male
Artful Dodger

The Artful Dodger, a.k.a. Jack Dawkins, is one of the most famous characters in literature. He is charming, upbeat, and charismatic. Though Dodger works for Fagin as a thief, he is the first person to show Oliver real kindness and gives him a place to belong. Cast a great singer and actor who exudes charm and commands the stage.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Fagin

Fagin recruits, trains, and manages a gang of child-thieves. Though he claims he cares for each of his children, providing them food and shelter and characteristically calling them “my dear,” he’s really only concerned with the money these young thieves bring in. Cast a charismatic actor with a robust voice who can portray Fagin’s nuanced charm.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Charlie Bates

Charlie Bates is one of Fagin’s child-thieves. He is a great admirer of the Artful Dodger and an accomplished pocket-picker. Cast a good actor and singer in this fun role.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: G4
Nipper

Nipper is the smallest member of Fagin’s gang. He has a small solo but no lines, so cast an actor of a smaller stature who can sing in this role.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: A3
Captain

The CAPTAIN and HANDWALKER are children in Fagin’s gang. They each have small solos, so make sure these actors are comfortable singing onstage.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: B3
Handwalker

The CAPTAIN and HANDWALKER are children in Fagin’s gang. They each have small solos, so make sure these actors are comfortable singing onstage.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: D4
Nancy

Nancy is an adventurous young lady with a heart of gold who has fallen in with the wrong crowd. She is vivacious and kind, the life of the party, and she immediately takes Oliver under her wing. Unfortunately, she is involved with Bill Sikes, who is a troublesome person. Cast a fantastic actress and great singer in this dynamic role.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Bet

Bet is a friend of Nancy’s who shares her spirited nature and sense of adventure. Like Nancy, Bet has a kind heart but has fallen upon hard times. Cast a reliable singer and dancer who pairs well with Nancy.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Mr. Brownlow

Mr. Brownlow is a sweet man who takes Oliver in, even after Oliver has picked his pocket. Oliver is familiar to Mr. Brownlow immediately, even though he has no idea that Oliver is his grandchild. Mr. Brownlow doesn’t have any solos, so he does not have to be a singer. This role is perfect for a strong, caring actor.

Gender: male
Bill Sikes

Bill Sikes is a quintessential villain. He is mean, selfish, and ruthless, and he always looks out for number one. He bullies everyone around him, especially Nancy, and is paranoid, always afraid that people will betray him. Cast a terrific actor and consistent singer who can lean into this character’s menacing presence.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: D4
Vocal range bottom: B2
Chairman

The Chairman is a small featured role in the Three Cripples Public House. His few lines are crucial to the storytelling, so be sure to cast an actor in this role who has solid diction and can project.

Gender: male
Mrs. Bedwin

Mrs. Bedwin is Mr. Brownlow’s kindhearted housekeeper. This is a lovely featured role for a singer and actor who reads as older onstage.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: C4
Milkmaid

The MILKMAID, STRAWBERRY SELLER, KNIFE GRINDER, and ROSE SELLER are featured roles that fill out the world of Oliver! JR. They all have solos, so cast good singers in these roles. These roles are great for younger performers who may not be ready to take on a larger part.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: Eb4
Strawberry Seller

The MILKMAID, STRAWBERRY SELLER, KNIFE GRINDER, and ROSE SELLER are featured roles that fill out the world of Oliver! JR. They all have solos, so cast good singers in these roles. These roles are great for younger performers who may not be ready to take on a larger part.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: Eb4
Knife Grinder

The MILKMAID, STRAWBERRY SELLER, KNIFE GRINDER, and ROSE SELLER are featured roles that fill out the world of Oliver! JR. They all have solos, so cast good singers in these roles. These roles are great for younger performers who may not be ready to take on a larger part.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G3
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Rose Seller

The MILKMAID, STRAWBERRY SELLER, KNIFE GRINDER, and ROSE SELLER are featured roles that fill out the world of Oliver! JR. They all have solos, so cast good singers in these roles. These roles are great for younger performers who may not be ready to take on a larger part.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Dr. Grimwig

Dr. Grimwig is a featured acting role. He is extremely intelligent but a bit pessimistic, especially compared to Mr. Brownlow. Cast a character actor who will enjoy playing an older character onstage in this non-singing role.

Gender: male
Old Sally

OLD SALLY and the MATRON confirm that Oliver is Agnes’s son, and therefore Mr. Brownlow’s grandson. These featured roles do not have solos, so they are perfect for actors who can deliver their important lines clearly.

Gender: female
Matron

OLD SALLY and the MATRON confirm that Oliver is Agnes’s son, and therefore Mr. Brownlow’s grandson. These featured roles do not have solos, so they are perfect for actors who can deliver their important lines clearly.

Gender: female
Ensemble

The large ensemble in Oliver! JR. fills out the world of the musical. The ensemble roles include CHILDREN (including CHILD), WORKHOUSE GOVERNORS, SERVANTS, MAID, DELIVERY PERSON, PAUPER ASSISTANTS, PEOPLE IN THE CITY (including PASSING MAN), FAGIN’S GANG, POLICEMAN, CUSTOMERS at the Three Cripples Public House, STREET SELLERS, MARKET SELLERS, CROWD in the Town square (including FIRST WOMAN, SECOND WOMAN, THIRD WOMAN and FIRST MAN), PEOPLE and POLICE at London Bridge (including LAMPLIGHTER, FIRST RUNNER, POLICE 1, POLICE 2).

Gender: any
Full Song List
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Food Glorious Food
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Oliver
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Boy For Sale
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Where Is Love?
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Consider Yourself
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Pick A Pocket Or Two
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Rum-Tum-Tum
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: It's A Fine Life
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: I'd Do Anything
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Be Back Soon
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Oom-Pah-Pah
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: My Name
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: As Long As He Needs Me
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Where Is Love? (Reprise)
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Who Will Buy? (Part 1)
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Who Will Buy? (Part 2)
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: It’s A Fine Life (Reprise)
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Reviewing The Situation
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Oliver (Reprise)
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: As Long As He Needs Me (Reprise)
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: London Bridge
Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR.: Bows

Curriculum Connection

  • Victorian English Literature
  • History of Victorian England
  • Currency Math
  • Victorian Medicine
  • Fine Arts

Billing

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
Licensee's Production of
Book, Music and Lyrics by
Lionel Bart
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included

Production Resources

Resource
ACTOR'S BOOK TENPACK
SCENIC PROJECTIONS-JR ANIMATED
SCENIC PROJECTIONS-JR STILL