MUSICAL Oliver! opens at the Hawthorne Theatre, in Welwyn Garden City, tonight (Thursday).

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RARE Youth Theatre Group will be presenting the Lionel Bart musical at the Campus West venue until Saturday, March.

Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, it premiered in the West End in 1960, featuring Ron Moody in the iconic role of Fagin.

Also in the original cast were Barry Humphries, better known as Dame Edna Everidge, and a very young Tony Robinson, who later played Baldrick in Blackadder.

There have been several West End revivals over the years since, the latest being in 2008 with Rowan Atkinson as Fagin, and the show continues to enjoy huge popularity with both professional and amateur groups all around the world.

The WGC production features a strong, talented and enthusiastic cast of young people between the ages of eight and 18, and audiences will love their renditions of such well-known songs as Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself and As Long As He Needs Me.

Performances are at 7.30pm, with an additional matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.

Tickets are £13 and £11 (concessions) and can be obtained from the Campus West box office.

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