Oli Twist


Group – Friday Seniors

Date – 03.04.2022

Time – 17.45

Written by Ross Drury

Rights Courtesy of Ross Drury

Directed by

Ross Drury

An adaptation of Charles Dickens Oliver Twist, sort of. Pickpockets, sock puppets and eighties syntho pop performed by not nearly enough young actors and somewhat under budget…there’s also a twist at the end but you knew that already.

Get ready for Pickpocket Theatre’s new play, but wait…the sets have been lost and there’s a measles epidemic that threatens to cancel the show altogether!

This production nods towards the playfulness and total chaos of putting on a play and in many ways is a reflection of how utterly ridiculous adapting a Dickens novel felt at the time and if I’m being honest the challenges of putting on a play with young people generally. I mean, how do you condense a seminal classic into 30 minutes and not make it as boring as every BBC adaptation you’ve seen in the last twenty years on a budget smaller than a shoestring during a global pandemic with not nearly enough young actors?!

For my money, you can’t really do Dickens without thinking about that Muppet film we all know and that’s certainly been an inspiration. Instead of Muppets we’ve got a group of underdog pickpockets telling a story and it’s here everything gets a bit meta.

These pickpockets know they’re in a play but they also become characters so in a way the play knows it’s a play but the actors are pretending they’re characters doing a play and erm…my head hurts.

Like Rizo the Rat, our pickpockets have one foot in the world of the play and another in yours, the audience. We’re safer in Muppet comparisons, I think!

I’ll leave you with Dodger Dickens and the gang but I’d suggest keeping an eye on your handbags as there could valuables removal technicians in the area!

Enjoy the show!

Ross Drury


Charles Dickens – Mr Sowerberry, Judge Tom Ford

Pick Pocket 3 – Sikes, Charley, Young Monks Jessie Haslam

Pick Pocket 0.1 – Nancy, Victorian Londoner, Agnes Fleming Elvia Harris

Dodger – Announcer, Old Sally Ewan Little

Everything Else Sam Power

Sarah – George, Noah, Young Brownlow Molly Tomkins

Pick Pocket 5 – Mrs Mann, Alex, Blathers, Witness Camille Ash

Pickpocket 4 – Mrs Corney, Charlotte, Rapper, Mrs Bedwin Grace Turner

Pickpocket 7 – Fagin, Door Keeper, Witness, Grocer Patsy Burley

Pickpocket 6 – Mr Bumble, Mr Brownlow, Baker Oscar Mason

There are probably some other characters I have forgotten…Dickens!

Click below to download a printable PDF of the programme