Griff Rhys Jones to star as Fagin in West End Oliver!

Griff Rhys Jones is to become the latest comedian to play the role of Fagin in the West End revival of Oliver!, following Rowan Atkinson and Omid Djalili.

Jones will take on the role at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane from Monday December 14 and will play the part until June 2010.

Producer Cameron Mackintosh commented: “I’ve wanted to work with Griff for years so I’m delighted that the marvellous role of Fagin has tempted him back to the stage this Christmas. Griff is an actor with an amazing array of successful talents, all of which will undoubtedly be poured into his unique and entertaining interpretation of one of Dickens’ most famous and beloved creations. I can’t wait!”

Best known for his appearances in Smith and Jones and Not The Nine O’Clock News, Jones has also won Olivier Awards for his stage roles in Charley’s Aunt and An Absolute Turkey, as well as starring in Front Page at the Donmar Warehouse and as Toad in the National Theatre’s Wind In The Willows.

He will appear alongside Jodie Prenger, who continues in her role as Nancy. Meanwhile, Steve Hartley, who appeared in the previous London Palladium production of Oliver in the nineties, will return to the show in the role of Bill Sykes as of tonight (September 15).

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