Jon Sowden
Director
(Oliver - 1999)

In the spring of 1992 I was sent by the Plymouth Theatre Royal to arrange auditions for their forthcoming production of the musical, Annie Get Your Gun.  Lasting three days, over four hundred young hopefuls were put through their paces at the Queen's Theatre in Shaftsbury Avenue.  We were honoured, at that time, by the presence of Lionel Bart who sat

with us in the stalls giving us the benefit of his considerable expertise.  Although officially not a member of the production team, Lionel had a keen eye for new theatrical talent and was a great encouragement to young performers of all backgrounds.  His passing this year is an enormous loss to musical theatre.

I am delighted, therefore, to have been invited once again, by the Willow Tree Theatre Company to direct this production of Lionel Bart's Oliver! and I hope you too will spot some up and coming stars of the musical theatre stage.  We certainly encourage all our actors and actresses of whatever age and ability to realise their potential.  Rehearsals this year have been characterised by determination and enthusiasm.  I am sure that this will shine through each individual performance.  Enjoy the show!

Jon Sowden

Director