Stevenage primary school’s search for Oliver cast to help celebrate 50th anniversary

Richard Hodder reads from Charles Dickens at a recent St Albans Museum Dickens event.

Richard Hodder reads from Charles Dickens at a recent St Albans Museum Dickens event. - Credit: Simon Jacobs

A school with a passion for performing arts is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a production of Oliver at Stevenage’s Gordon Craig Theatre.

Martins Wood Primary School in Stevenage is appealing for former pupils, parents and staff to get involved and try for a part in the musical.

Headteacher Tom Evans said: “At Martins Wood we have a proud tradition of promoting excellence in the performing arts and have won the National Operatic and Dramatic Association regional award for best youth production on six occasions.

“Our past productions have included Hairspray, We Will Rock You, Singing in the Rain and The Lion King.

“To celebrate this aspect of the school and our 50th anniversary, we are putting on a production of Oliver at the Gordon Craig and we want adults to play the adult characters and to also go in the chorus.

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“Ideally we would like all the cast to have a direct connection to the school - current pupils, staff and parents along with former pupils, staff and parents.”

At 7.30pm on Wednesday, November 1, former pupils over 16 and parents are invited to take part in a sing-a-long at the school.

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Mr Evans said: “This will be a chance for anyone who may not have performed since they left the school to check out that they can still sing.

“We are looking for a Nancy, Fagin and Bill Sykes. Oliver will be cast from current pupils and the Artful Dodger from current pupils or former pupils who have recently moved on to secondary school.

“Former pupils who are currently at secondary school should come along as soon as they can after school on November 1 and join our drama club rehearsals to find out how they can get involved.

“We think this is a really exciting and innovative project which will culminate in a top quality production, with a full orchestra, at the Gordon Craig.

“It really is a unique adventure that we are embarking on, bringing the local community to the professional stage.”

The production of Oliver is due to take place in May. If you have a connection to the school and are interested in taking part, call the school on 01438 222602 or email

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