Story added:  1:57pm Thu Feb 23, 2017
Familiar faces return in musical's key roles
Tuesday 28th March, 2017 - Palace Theatre, Newark
Familiar faces return in musical's key roles
Justin Day (left) plays the lead role of Fagin in Oliver!; Gary Bickmore and Rachel Mitchell (right) take the roles of Mr and Mrs Sowerberry.
The principal cast has been announced for Newark Amateur Operatic Society’s up-coming production of Oliver! The musical will be performed at the Palace Theatre from March 28 to April 1.

The show sees the return of Justin Day to the role of Fagin.

Justin is no stranger to the theatre with this being his 12th production. His previous roles have included Nathan Detroit in Guys And Dolls, Malcolm in The Full Monty, Rooster Hannigan in Annie and, most recently, Benny Coffin III in Rent.

Lyndon Warnsby and Jo Dewberry again appear together playing Bill Sykes and Nancy in their tempestuous, though at times violent, relationship.

Jo has been a stalwart of the society since joining in 2006 to play the part of Polly Baker in Crazy For You. More recently, she played Anna Leonowens in The King and I.

Nancy was at the top of Jo’s bucket list of parts to play. She is looking forward to the challenges of playing such a complex character.

Lyndon returns to the society for his fifth show, having previously featured in Annie, South Pacific and Little Shop Of Horrors. He has directed Guys and Dolls and The King and I.

Lyndon is no stranger to the stage, both performing and directing a number of shows, including Jesus Christ Superstar and Sister Act.

This year will see a new pairing on the stage with Rachel Mitchell and Gary Bickmore playing the undertaker and his wife, Mr and Mrs Sowerberry.

It will be Gary’s second performance with the society, having appeared in the male chorus in last year’s South Pacific.

Gary is excited about the challenge of playing one of the main roles in a big production.

This will also be his second performance with his son and daughter, Dexter and Tegan.

Rachel is returning to the society for her second appearance, having previously played Mrs Greer in Annie in 2013.

Oliver! is one of her favourite musicals.

Kate Fenns is Widow Corney, which will be her third role with the society after playing Lady Thiang in The King And I and Bloody Mary in South Pacific.

Kate is no stranger to the stage and regularly performs with the County Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society in Lincoln.

In the show, she will be paired with her long-time friend Peter Merrick who is playing the part of Mr Bumble.

Pete played the part of Emile in South Pacific and is looking forward to getting back on the Palace Theatre stage.

Pete is no stranger to the stage, having performed in a number of roles, including in 2015 and 2016 when he played Pontius Pilate at Lincoln Cathedral in Jesus Christ Superstar.

He regularly sings with Kate performing popular songs from stage and screen.

Oliver! — the society’s 79th production — is directed by Mike Follen.

He said: “We have a wealth of talent in the society and this year’s show is really no exception.

“Oliver! is a firm family favourite and one that everyone knows many of the songs in. It has been fantastic to see the show develop through the rehearsals to what we are sure will be a fantastic experience for the audience.

“We also have to recognise that it is not only those who are on stage that contribute to the show as there is a dedicated team of backstage and support, all of whom play a vital role in every show we produce.”
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