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Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Episode 1.

Oliver Twist - Episode 1:

Oliver is born in a workhouse and his mother - who has been carried there in labour - dies giving birth to him.

Oliver remains at the workhouse and his early years there in the care of Mr Bumble are no less unhappy.

When he is nine years old Oliver is put to work making oakum, but he and the other children in the workhouse are under-nourished and treated harshly. A decision is taken by the boys that Oliver should ask the master for a second bowl of gruel at mealtime...and Oliver finds himself hauled before the workhouse Board.

The Board decides that the rebellious Oliver should be offered to more or less anyone who will have him for the sum of £5. So it is that Oliver arrives to work for the undertaker Mr Sowerberry.

Oliver is roughly treated by Noah Claypole - another of Mr Sowerberry's employees - who also teases Oliver about his deceased mother and her reputation. When Oliver can take it no more he strikes Noah to the ground.

Oliver is in trouble once again and is locked in the cellar. When he escapes he determines to run away. Pausing in his flight he notices that a milestone indicates that it is only 70 miles to London. So Oliver makes that place his destination.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens - supporting resources:

  1. Oliver Twist - Complete programme notes (1 MB pdf)
  2. Oliver Twist - Playscript for Episode 1 (pdf)
  3. Full-size image for Episode 1 from the 1st Edition

Click for credits

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens dramatised by Penny Leicester.

Taking part (in alphabetical order):

Mrs Bedwin: Rachel Atkins

Oliver: Jozef Batterberry

Fagin: Michael Cochrane

Nancy: Clare Corbett

Mr Bumble: Stephen Critchlow

Charley Bates: Lewis Jamieson

Sikes: Jonathan Keeble

Mr Brownlow: James Lailey

Rose: Poppy Miller

Noah Claypole: Chris Pavlo

The Artful Dodger: Bailey Pepper

Monks: Carl Prekopp

Mrs Mann: Jane Whittenshaw

Storyteller: Greg Wise

With other parts played by members of the cast.

Directed by: John Taylor

BBC production contacts: Laura Hyde / Andrew Barnes

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