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Q&A with Oliver and The Artful Dodger

Who are you, and who do you play?

HC: My name is Henry Calcutt, I’m 12 and I play Oliver.

JM: Hi, I’m Joshua Medcalf, I’m 11 years old and I play The Artful Dodger.

Tell us about your character.

HC: Well, Oliver is a boy who has been brought up in a workhouse. He is then taken to work in a funeral parlour but he’s really badly treated, so he runs away to London. And that is when his life starts to change.

JM: Dodger is master pick-pocket who has been raised on the streets by Fagin. He is quite cheeky and although he befriends Oliver when they first meet, he isn’t quite as nice as he first appears.

Have you been on stage before?

HC: I was in The Ballad of Salomon Pavey at the Rose Theatre in Kingston but, having been in the audience at Richmond Theatre before, I can’t wait to perform there.

JM: I have been in a few shows with my theatre school, but this is the first time I have been on the Richmond Theatre stage.

What is your favourite moment in the show?

HC: Probably Who Will Buy in Act 2, as this is when Oliver sees the world as he has never seen it before – fresh, clean and full of possibilities. It is a great song to sing too.

JM: I’d have to say that my favourite part of the show is the scene after Bill Sykes and Nancy kidnap Oliver, when they bring him back to Fagin’s den. It is manic, full of action and the reprise of A Fine Life is brilliant.

Apart from your own, which is your favourite character in the show?

HC: I really like Nancy because, although she is part of the London underworld, she also has a good side to her, which is why she tries to help Oliver at the end of the show.

JM: For me it is Fagin because he is so uncivilised. He is also quite funny and has good songs.

Will you be nervous?

HC: Yes – but I’ll definitely enjoy it.

JM: In one word – yes. But I’ll take deep breaths and just do what we have rehearsed and hope the audience enjoy it.

Why should someone come to see Oliver?

HC: Everyone should come to see Oliver because it’s exciting, full of brilliant songs, and the actors are amazing.

JM: I agree with Henry - and of course people should come because I am in it!