July 8, 10, 15, 16, 17,
22, 23, 24, 2005
Sharon Lynn Wilson Center
opens on the sinister interior of the workhouse with a bare dining
table, center stage, where the boys will sit. These pale-faced wretches
can be seen peering through the bars of a door at the back. Looming
above two curving stairways glows the legend "God Is Love" in rough
letters. The Widow Corney, who runs the workhouse and Mr. Bumble, the
parish beadle, enter and a thin gruel is served. Wolfing the meagre
fare, the boys hopelessly stack their bowls, but the hapless Oliver
approaches Bumble with the entreaty, "Please sir, I want some more." He
is instantly subdued. Oliver is locked behind the barred door as the
rest of the boys exit upstairs.
brought forward, bag and baggage, and is led off by Bumble to Mr.
Sowerberry's, the undertaker. Oliver is "sold" to the undertaker. Alone
and frightened and surrounded by coffins Oliver runs away the very next
morning and is picked up hungry and tired in the streets by the Artful
Dodger who cheers him up and leads him through crowded streets to
Fagin's kitchen. The boys come in and Fagin himself appears. Nancy, Bill
Sikes' girl and Bet arrive. The action moves to the next morning when
Fagin sends the boys off on a pocket-picking expedition, Oliver among
them. We witness the capture of Oliver, not for picking pockets, but for
simply looking guilty.
pour down the stairs telling of Oliver's apprehension by the police, at
the same time revealing that his innocence has been established and that
he is presently ensconced in the home of a rich old gentleman. Fearful
lest he give away their set-up, Fagin and Sikes dispatch Nancy to get
Oliver back. Meanwhile, at the home of his new-found benefactor, the
erstwhile ragged Oliver has become a well-tailored, well-cared for
little lad. However, the moment he sets foot outside his benefactor's
house, Oliver is seized and dragged off by Nancy to Fagin's.
Bumble and Mrs. Corney, now uncomfortably married, discover that Oliver
is the scion of a rich family. Their scheme to get him back fails and
Nancy, regretting her part in the capture of Oliver, plans to return him
to his benefactor at night on London Bridge. Sikes stalks her and kills
her. He grabs Oliver and, after a chase, is himself shot dead. Oliver is
restored to his benefactor and Fagin, now without boys, home and money,
reprises Reviewing the Situation.