top of page


By Charles Dickens

Adapted by Olivia Race

After the death of his mother in childbirth, orphan Oliver Twist faces the world alone.  On escaping his miserable existence in the workhouse, Oliver is taken in by juvenile pickpocket the Artful Dodger, to a dark criminal underworld of London thieves; where he meets the loathsome Fagin, vicious Bill Sikes and self-sacrificing Nancy.  In a brilliant tale depicting Oliver's struggle between hope and cruelty, Dickens creates an unforgettable world of threat and mystery.

October & January 2017

Leeds Kirkgate Market


April 2016

Durham Indoor Market


We have staged the performance in both Durham’s Indoor Market and Leeds Kirkgate Market, with the Victorian aesthetic of the buildings really furthering our vision to transport our audience back to the streets of Dickens' London.  One of the reasons I wanted to create my own adaptation was to fuse the language of Dickens with the contemporary theatre world, and although there are already many versions of Oliver Twist, I believe we managed to retell the story in a new and exciting way.  I was particularly interested to direct the story using the promenade style, as it enabled closer interaction between the actors and the audience.  Part of the difficulty when working with a story which is widely known is that people have preconceived ideas of the characters, but as director I was keen for the actors to develop their own personal understanding of their characters and build up their own story.

Furthermore, I also made the decision to cast both Oliver Twist and the Artful Dodger as females, as I believe it is important to create a greater place for women in theatre; allowing their voices to be heard both on stage and off.

Olivia Race, Director


“I loved this production … The market provides a unique atmosphere that brings the story to life in a way a static theatre stage never could.”  (Culture Vulture, full article)

“This is about as far away for the classic movie as you can get which, frankly, is a good thing as the company give Dickens the respect the master deserves.”  (North West End, full article)


“Ingenious and engaging.”  (The Reviews Hub, full article)

"Charles Dickens’ classic novel has been masterfully adapted by director Olivia Race."  (Northern Echo, full article)

"The most unique piece of theatre that I have seen this year ...  It is a testament to how much can be done with theatre.  I can promise anyone who goes to see it will leave the Indoor Market, like me, wanting more."  (First Night, full article)

"It was an utterly endearing production that was practically perfect!"  (Palatinate Stage, full article)

"I can't remember enjoying a production so much.  The promenade approach in the market was inspired: the old market hall and stalls adding atmosphere and authenticity to the story being told."  (Audience Member)

"A powerful and convincing tale, told in the Victorian majesty of the Leeds City Market - evocative and thought provoking."  (Alison Lowe, Leeds City Councillor)

"It was a privilege to have seen the production."  (Audience Member)

"Amazing storyline, brilliant acting, an unforgettable experience."  (Audience Member)


CREATIVE TEAM (October 2017)

Director & Producer - Olivia Race

Director & Producer - Sam McKay

Composer - Robert Collins

Musical Director - Claire-Marie Seddon

Costume Designer - Alissa Cooper

CAST (October 2017)

Oliver Twist - Georgina Franklin

The Artful Dodger & Rose - Riana Duce

Fagin - Leslie Davidoff

Bill Sikes - James Barrett

Nancy - Olivia Race

BAND (October 2017)

Clarinet - Ellie Marsh

Viola - Pamela Crawford

Trombone - Max Purcell-Burrows 

"I grew up in Leeds, and always loved getting lost in the maze of Kirkgate Market, so to perform there and hear audience members' wonderful comments about how beautiful the market looked was very special.  As an actor, getting to move around a space as gorgeous as the market, interacting with audience members and seeing close up how much they're enjoying the experience is priceless.  Front Room's brilliantly innovative vision created a production that was incredibly fun and unique for the company and audiences alike!

The Artful Dodger and Rose were two of the best characters I've played - especially loveable Dodger!  Bringing such a well-known, cheeky character to life, in a production that stayed true to the very dark sadness of Dickens' story, was an absolute joy, and an experience I'll treasure for a long time."  Riana Duce, The Artful Dodger & Rose

"I am so proud to have been part of this excellent production.  I felt instantly at home in this warm, fun and talented group of people and hope I can work with them again in the future." Pam Crawford, Violist

CREATIVE TEAM (January 2017)

Co-Director & Producer - Olivia Race

Co-Director & Asst. Producer - Sam McKay

Composer - Robert Collins

Asst. Director & MD - Claire-Marie Seddon

Costume Designer - Alissa Cooper

Poster Designer - Penny Babakhani

CAST (January 2017)

Oliver Twist - Georgina Franklin

The Artful Dodger & Rose - Riana Duce

Fagin - Ian Whitehead

Bill Sikes - Tristan Robinson

Nancy - Olivia Race

BAND (January 2017)

Clarinet - Hannah Williams

Violin - Sandy Thin

Viola - Pamela Crawford

Acoustic Guitar - Jordan Balla

Trombone - Tim Hurst / Max Purcell-Burrows 

CREATIVE TEAM (April 2016)

Director - Olivia Race

Producer - Penny Babakhani

Producer - Dominic McGovern

Producer - Genevieve Burns

Composer - Rob Collins

CAST (April 2016)

Oliver Twist - Jenny Walser

The Artful Dodger - Elle Morgan-Williams

Fagin - Michael Yates

Bill Sikes - Tristan Robinson

Nancy - Sarah Slimani

Rose - Clemmie Medforth

BAND (April 2016)

Violin - Sandy Thin

Viola - Olivia Ballantine-Smith

Clarinet - Ed Hislop

Trombone - Theo Hurford

Guitar - Dan Haynes


A huge thank you to West Yorkshire Cameras and Rennicks UK for their support and sponsorship of Oliver Twist.


Howard Parker, Robert Tait, Leeds Kirkgate Market, Leeds City Council, James Capstick, Gary Chadwick, Kevin Bradbury, Gavin Skeet, Slung Low, Joanna Resnick, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Jenny Sullivan, James Clare, Stuart Rowlings, Julian Cooke, Alissa Cooper, Tim Hurst, Dominic McGovern, Annabel Kersley, Katie Hawkhead, Paul Wilshaw, Matt McKay, Penny Babakhai, Copy Concept, Genevieve Burns, Martin Race, Alice Barber, Lillian Race.

Without your support this production would not have been possible.

bottom of page