Stevenage school’s production of Oliver aims to help the hungry

Some pupils from the cast of Oliver with Year 5 teacher Ben Coates, who plays Mr Bumble. Picture: To

Some pupils from the cast of Oliver with Year 5 teacher Ben Coates, who plays Mr Bumble. Picture: Tom Evans. - Credit: Archant

A primary school production of the musical Oliver is hoping to raise more than £2,000 for people who don’t have enough food to eat.

Martins Wood Primary School in Stevenage has a passion for performing arts, and pupils, parents and staff will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a production of Oliver at Stevenage’s Gordon Craig Theatre from Tuesday, May 1, to Saturday, May 5.

Headteacher Tom Evans said: “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.

“Rehearsals are well under way, with a cast including pupils, ex-pupils, teachers past and present, parents and grandparents.”

From every ticket sold for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performances, £2 will be donated to People for People – a Stevenage community group which supports people in need – and will go towards running the Foodshed, which provides food for people who cannot afford to eat.

Tom said: “Charities don’t just need goods. Cold hard cash would also be very useful to the Foodshed, as there are many overheads and expenses associated with it.

“With over 400 seats in the theatre, we could make a significant and very welcome donation.”

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Kenny Arnold, a hairdresser in the Old Town who helped set up People for People in 2015, said: “Oliver is going to be really exciting and we are encouraging everybody to go. It sounds like it’s going to be a wonderful production.

“It’s going to be great for the kids and great to help the people in our community who need the food bank.

“We had a wonderful Christmas with the food bank. We did meet the need and are still gettting donations coming in, but things are running low and it’s a constant effort to keep people in our town well fed.

“We really need your help, so let’s get behind this.

“It’s a wonderful gesture to the vulnerable people in our town. We need to look after them and show we are one community. Nobody will look after these people unless we do it. We have to do it.”

Tickets, at £16 each, are available from the box office on 01438 363200 or by visiting