From the Director
From the Director
Welcome to Oliver!
In this piece, we learn a lot about what was important to Charles Dickens. He was a man who suffered immeasurably as the oldest son providing for his family by working at the age of twelve in a workhouse, while the rest of his family was in debtor’s prison. This experience was imprinted on his memory, along with the plight of those in London who suffered in similar circumstances as his.
Charles Dickens loved this city, and saw the corruption invading not only London, but throughout England. He described it as a fog that covered what was good and true, that which brought light to a soul’s eyes. His way of dispelling the fog was to write stories that revealed the corruption, as seen through the lives and events of characters like Oliver and Nancy, Fagin and Bill Sikes. A humanitarian at heart, he was disappointed by the pretenses of good that riddled the poor laws during his time. There was little real care for a person’s dignity, very little value given to nourishing the soul of an individual, let alone care for children or the weak.
This is at the heart of Oliver! He shows us that it is not just one type of person or character that fails in love. It seems that Dickens asks the question: how do we care for those around us, looking past what will benefit us, to what will enrich their life and raise their level of living? In the workhouses, a piece of scripture was often displayed on a wall to serve as an inspiration. In this Production, we chose Love thy neighbor as thyself (Mark 12:31). It seemed to answer Dickens’ question, and if we choose, to serve as a mirror to challenge ourselves, offering us the opportunity to see a wider, bigger picture of the world around us. Thank you for joining us.