From the Director
The musical by Lionel Bart
This production premiered in London in 1960, and is based on Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist.
“Please, sir, I want some more.” Charles Dickens had a knack for these lines: they’re eked out by seemingly inconsequential young boys (Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim, Pip, and the lot)—the lowest of the low—and yet they take root in our hearts, inviting us to step into the gritty, dazzling, and desperate heart of Victorian England, and speaking a message that endures. The grim conditions and depressing menu of the workhouse (Parliament’s answer to the rising cost of poverty, providing a meager existence in exchange for child labor) would be enough to drive any person to gasp for more, but somehow these words in the mouth of eleven-year-old Oliver Twist catapult us all—characters, readers, viewers alike—to embark on a quest for so much more: for food and physical security, of course, but most of all, for love.