Our adaptation of this Victorian classic follows one of literatures best loved heroes through the tempestuous events of his early life.
His story begins in Mr Bumble’s Workhouse where he is fed only gruel, and where his hunger forces him to ask for ‘more’ – with disastrous results! Oliver’s expulsion from the workhouse sees him meet a host of Dickens’ more colourful characters, including: Mr Sowerberry, the sinister undertaker; loveable rogue Jack Dawkins, know to his friends as ‘The Artful Dodger’; master pick-pocket, Fagin; and the caring Nancy, who’s divided loyalties take her on an equally perilous journey.
Here at M & M Theatrical Productions we wholeheartedly believe in audience involvement. At performances of Oliver Twist we actively encourage audience members to dress the part, as street urchins and workhouse children, so that they really can ‘consider themselves one of us!’
Classic Literature Adaptations and Corresponding National Curriculum Links.
It is, and always has been, the desire of M&M to ensure our productions offer much more than just a visually stunning and entertaining theatrical experience. With that in mind our Artistic Director Margaret Holloway B Ed., a primary school teacher for many years, has ensured that all company productions can aid classroom teachers in meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum by outlining how each show links to the programmes of study and /or strands in relevant subjects.
The National Curriculum Guidelines for 5 to 11 year olds.
In England this is split into Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
In Scotland this is split into levels A to D.
Why do we promote classic children’s literature?
Our classic literature productions are aimed at helping class teachers to encourage children to read for enjoyment, particularly classic fiction by long established children’s authors.
The Cox Report 1989 states, “Literature has an important role to play in improving abilities in speaking and listening, writing and reading”… “Approaches which actively engage pupils working on texts are far more likely to lead to enjoyment and understanding”.
What better approach than to watch a book come to life in a live theatrical performance…
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
This show can aid classroom teaching in the following subjects:
Programmes of Study
1. Speaking and Listening:-
KS1- or levels A to B. Gives pupils the opportunity to respond to the performance constructively.
KS2- or levels C to D. Gives pupils the opportunity to evaluate how the characters and the narrative contribute to the overall effectiveness of the performance including language variation and dialect forms.
Helps to develop in KS1 and 2, or in levels A to D , an appreciation of one of the most long established significant children’s authors- Charles Dickens.( English born 1812 )
KS2 or levels C to D. Allows older pupils the opportunity to evaluate how the technical aspects of the show, including sound, lighting and special effects, contribute to the overall effectiveness of the performance as well as costume and set. At this level they can also discuss the use of multiple role play and the versatility of the actors playing very diverse roles.
Programmes of Study
1. Knowledge and Understanding of Events, People and Changes in the Past:-
KS1- or levels A to B Gives pupils the opportunity of identifying differences between ways of life during this period in history.
KS2- or levels C to D Gives pupils the opportunity to reflect on the experiences of men, woman and children during this period in British history including how wealth or poverty could alter these experiences.
How many actors are in your shows?
Each of our Classic Literature and Pantomime performances come with 4 actors, some of our larger theatre style shows can have up to 6 or more!
Do you supply your own light and sound?
Yes, we are completely self-sufficient and the cast will not only supply a sound system with radio headset mics, large lighting rigs and speakers all connected to a multimedia computer, but they even operate it all themselves during the performance, we only ask for 2 plug points for power. We have very long extension leads, so these plugs do not have to be close to the performance area.
How long are your shows?
Our Classic Literature adaptations run for 60 minutes and our larger Pantomime performances can run up to 70 minutes, perhaps a little longer depending on audience reaction. The cast have the ability to adjust the times marginally if required to fit into your school day.
How long does it take to set up?
Our set up consists of unpacking our van of all the equipment into your hall, building the sets and the tech and performing a stringent sound check to match the levels to your venue. This takes the team anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour depending on your space. If there is anything that may increase this time please let us know at the time of booking your show.
How Many Children can we have in the hall?
We do not impose a maximum limit on our customers per show. This really comes down to spacing however we do ask that you please be aware of fire regulations and audience comfort when planning who will be attending.
What if we can’t fit in all the children in 1 sitting?
If you require 2 shows or more to accommodate your audience, we offer the choice of an all-day double or to fit two shows in back to back within a morning. This allows us to still visit another venue in the afternoon and therefore subsidise your second show. Please ask a member of staff for more details about timing and your personal logistics.
How much space do you require?
Depending on the show, our set space can waver from 4metres to 5 metres in depth, which is about 12 to 15 foot. This will include our performance area, the cast upon arrival will place a safety ribbon down so your staff will know where to sit the children up to. Please ensure no children cross this line unless requested to do so as it is for their own safety.
Do I have to pay a deposit?
No, we never ask for a deposit. All of our prices are plus vat, so we invoice six weeks prior to the show date and ask for payment to be made as close to the show day as possible. As we do not require a deposit to book a show please be aware that cancelling a performance with less than 4 months to the show date will result in a percentile fee being charged in relation to the ex-vat figure.
What age range are the shows suitable for?
All of our shows have been written and adapted by our Artistic Director. There is no innuendo or inappropriate language or gestures, as an ex-primary school senior teacher she ensures every performance is suitable for children aged from age 4 to 12.
Are all your staff crb checked?
As our cast are never on a one to one basis, or responsible for any children a CRB check is not required by law, however in this day and age we as a company we insist that every employee, permanent or subcontracted holds a current fully disclosed crb certificate. These are available from the tour manager on the show day. In the unlikely event that a certificate is in the process of renewal please contact the office for the individual crb number on the day, and we will issue you a copy of the certificate once this arrives.
We have lunches in our hall will this be a problem?
In the majority of instances we arrange show set up and performance times so that they do not affect your lunch schedule. However if this is not possible we only require the same space that we perform in to set up and ask if that portion of the hall could be made available for us to use.
Would you like to use our erectable/block staging?
As our huge sets and scenery are designed to impress, they are based on casters to enable them to move throughout the show. As magical as this makes our scene changes, it would cause concern if the bases were not on a smooth and stable floor. It is with this in mind that we do not use erectable or block staging. If retracting your stage is an issue we are happy to perform in the opposite end of the hall giving you more of a tiered seating option instead.
Is there anything that you require?
We are very self-sufficient and do not require anything other than a couple of plug points, however the cast are very partial to a cup of tea or coffee as theirs is a thirsty job and would thank you very much if you were to be so kind as to offer.
Are you fully insured?
We hold a full public and product liability Insurance to the value of 5 million pounds respectively. For further information regarding this please apply to Marian Morris, General Manager.
Is your equipment all pat tested?
Yes, all our equipment gets a thorough safety check at the start and end of each tour including PAT testing when the certificates are due. Tours run from as little as 2 months, to 6 months at the maximum. As the largest touring theatre company in the Uk and Ireland, we are lucky enough to have our own dedicated technical department.
Are your performances suited for children with special needs?
We are proud to announce that we are the single largest supplier of in house theatre to children with special educational needs. All of our sets, and costumes are bright and interactive and we are company of choice for Happy Days Children’s Charity when supplying live theatre to SEN schools.