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OLIVER! the musical

By Lionel Bart

Oliver synopsis


"Oliver!" is a musical film based on Charles Dickens' novel "Oliver Twist" that follows the story of an orphan named Oliver who gets caught up in the criminal underworld of Victorian London. Here's a scene-by-scene synopsis suitable for 7-11-year-olds, including where the songs fit:


1. **Opening Sequence**: We meet Oliver Twist, a young orphan, living in a workhouse. The scene sets up Oliver's bleak existence and longing for a better life. (No song)


2. **"Food, Glorious Food"**: Oliver and the other orphans sing about their hunger and dissatisfaction with the gruel they're served.


3. **Oliver Asks for More**: Oliver, emboldened by hunger, asks for more food, shocking the workhouse staff and prompting Mr. Bumble, the beadle, to offer Oliver as an apprentice to anyone willing to take him. (No song)


4. **Oliver Sold to Mr. Sowerberry**: Mr. Sowerberry, the undertaker, takes Oliver as his apprentice. Oliver meets other characters, including Noah Claypole and the Sowerberrys. (No song)


5. **"Boy for Sale"**: Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney, the umatron, sing about selling Oliver to Mr. Sowerberry.


6. **"That's Your Funeral"**: Mr. Sowerberry and his wife, Mrs. Sowerberry, sing about their profession as undertakers, with Oliver reluctantly joining in.


7. **Oliver's First Night**: Oliver endures mistreatment from Noah and Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry, longing for a better life. (No song)


8. **"Where Is Love?"**: Oliver sings about his longing for love and belonging, reflecting on his difficult circumstances.


9. **Oliver Runs Away**: Oliver runs away from the Sowerberrys and begins his journey to London, encountering Dodger and the Artful Dodger, who introduces him to Fagin, the leader of a gang of young pickpockets. (No song)


10. **"Consider Yourself"**: Fagin and the boys welcome Oliver into their gang, singing and dancing through the crowded streets of London.


11. **Training Oliver**: Fagin and the Artful Dodger teach Oliver how to pick pockets and survive on the streets. (No song)


12. **"You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two"**: Fagin and the boys sing and dance while demonstrating their pickpocketing skills to Oliver.


13. **Meeting Nancy and Bill Sykes**: Oliver meets Nancy, a kind-hearted woman associated with the criminal underworld, and Bill Sykes, a dangerous criminal and Fagin's associate. (No song)


14. **"It's a Fine Life"**: Nancy and the other members of Fagin's gang sing about the joys and struggles of their life on the streets.


15. **Oliver's First Pickpocketing Attempt**: Oliver accompanies the Artful Dodger and Charley Bates on a pickpocketing mission, but he's caught by the victim and narrowly escapes capture. (No song)


16. **"I'd Do Anything"**: Fagin, Nancy, the Artful Dodger, and Bet sing about their willingness to do anything for each other.


17. **Fagin's Plan**: Fagin devises a plan for the boys to steal from Mr. Brownlow, a wealthy gentleman, during a crowded street fair. (No song)


18. **"Be Back Soon"**: The Artful Dodger and the boys prepare for their thieving expedition, singing about their excitement and confidence.


19. **Oliver's Capture**: Oliver is caught by Mr. Brownlow while attempting to pick his pocket and is taken in by him. (No song)


20. **"Who Will Buy?"**: Mr. Brownlow's housekeeper, Mrs. Bedwin, and street vendors sing about the beauty and charm of London during a bustling market scene.


21. **Oliver's New Life**: Oliver enjoys a peaceful and loving life with Mr. Brownlow, who treats him like a son. (No song)


22. **"Reviewing the Situation"**: Fagin contemplates his life and considers changing his ways as he grows older.


23. **Rescue Mission**: Nancy, torn between her loyalty to Bill Sykes and her affection for Oliver, decides to help Oliver escape from Fagin and Sykes. (No song)


24. **"Oom-Pah-Pah"**: Nancy and the patrons of the Three Cripples tavern sing and dance, celebrating life despite its hardships.


25. **Tragic Ending**: Nancy's attempt to help Oliver escape is discovered by Bill Sykes, leading to a tragic confrontation that results in Nancy's death. (No song)


26. **"As Long as He Needs Me"**: Despite the dangers and hardships she faces, Nancy sings about her unwavering love and loyalty to Bill Sykes.


27. **Showdown**: Oliver confronts Bill Sykes, and with the help of Mr. Brownlow and others, Sykes meets his demise.


28. **Happy Ending**: Oliver is officially adopted by Mr. Brownlow and finds a loving home, while Fagin reflects on his past and decides to start a new life away from crime. (No song)


29. **Finale**: The cast gathers for a final song and dance number, celebrating Oliver's newfound happiness and the triumph of goodness over evil. (No song)

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