Musical youth!

Oliver Barker is to play Oliver in a production of Charles Dickens' novel at the Doncaster Civic Theatre

Oliver Barker is to play Oliver in a production of Charles Dickens' novel at the Doncaster Civic Theatre

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AN nine-year-old from Retford is to take up the lead role in a production of Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver!

Oliver Barker faced tough competition from hundreds of hopefuls who auditioned for the part, but the Ranby House pupil was the one who caught the judges’ eyes.

He will perform on 15th, 17th and 20th November at Doncaster Civic Theatre and said he is proud to play the boy who went from rags to riches.

Oliver, who attends the Riley School of Dance and has been rehearsing hard for seven months, said: “It’s like a dream come true.”

“There is a 10-piece orchestra and we even worked with the actor who played Bill Sykes in the West End.”

Oliver’s family will be supporting him, with his grandparents making the long trip from Gloucestershire for the show.

Proud mum Lisa Barker said: “Oliver has been working very hard for this role. His dad wanted to feed him gruel to help him get into the part, but I thought that was going a bit far!”

“Oliver is a previous winner of Bassetlaw Achiever’s award and is sure to keep the audiences coming back for more!”

For tickets call the box office on (01302) 342349.