Felsted School pupils brought the grimy streets of Dickensian England to life with their production of Lionel Bart's musical Oliver!

More than 100 pupils aged nine to 18 took on roles in the spotlight and behind the scenes, with a rotation of three casts and crew over six performances.

Performances took place in the school's historic on-campus theatre, Grignon Hall.

Dunmow Broadcast: Joseph in Year 9 as OliverJoseph in Year 9 as Oliver (Image: Felsted School)

The role of Oliver - an orphan boy who falls in with a crowd of petty thieves and pickpockets - was taken by Joseph and Zach in Year 9 and Anna in Year 10, while notorious gang leader Fagin was played by Alex and Matilda in Year 13.

Anna said: "It was an amazing experience to be involved with and really took me out of my comfort zone.

"Performing in front of a sold-out audience of family and friends and remembering all the lines and stage directions was quite daunting but I am so pleased I managed to do it and my confidence has had a real boost."

The rehearsals were led by Sixth Form cast members, while Upper Sixth Form student Isla took on the role of co-choreographer.

Younger cast members worked hard to learn the lines and lyrics, as well as mastering the complicated choreography.

Pupils from the Prep School joined in the chorus and the ensemble dance routines, while behind the scenes the crew learnt about theatrical make up, costuming, props and operating the sound and lighting systems.

A band was specially assembled to accompany the production, consisting of both pupils and staff.

Dunmow Broadcast: 'Oom-Pah-Pah', starring Hannah in Year 12 as Nancy'Oom-Pah-Pah', starring Hannah in Year 12 as Nancy (Image: Felsted School)

This was Felsted director of drama Carly Bartlett's first production since joining the school.

She said: "Preparing a musical in a little over two months is no small task and the commitment and talent of our students has completely overwhelmed me.


"We have had enormous fun in the rehearsal room and they made this whole experience a complete pleasure."

Felsted pupils stage a large-scale musical or play each year, along with other smaller performances.

Headteacher Chris Townsend said: "Many pupils and staff members have worked very hard over weeks and months in order to deliver this exceptional production."