Preparations are already underway for the Academy’s timeless adaptation of the well-known musical Oliver Twist, based on a novel by Charles Dickens, and the show is billed as possibly one of the best the Academy has ever produced.

The Academy has been on the hunt for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier to play the companion to the production’s malevolent character Bill Sikes, and Year 12 student Kieran Dixon, playing villainous Fagin gang member, said:

“My Staffordshire Bull Terrier companion has to be a really loveable dog to all the cast and crew, but be able to look dangerous on stage, and amplify the sense of danger around my nasty character Bill Sykes.

“Bill has a bad reputation, so his dog has to look fierce, and it just wouldn’t be the same with any other breed of dog.  Bill Sikes is a complete wild card and a lurking danger.  He’s definitely got a screw loose somewhere, and it’s just a great character ensemble to put together.  I think this will be one of the greatest shows we have done for years.”

As rehearsals start for the toe-tapping musical adventure, Adam Hepkin, Director of the Oliver production, said:

“This year we want our show to be a joyous production, with gritty realism at the same time. The show is open to students of every age and ability; everyone is given the opportunity to audition, and can get involved in acting, or behind the scenes in production or lighting. This year we have seen much younger students taking on more responsibility which is great to see.  It’s a brilliant musical that has stood the test of time, and gives students of every age and ability the opportunity to take part and play meaningful roles. This will be as close to a professional experience students can get without being in a professional show.”

The production will be held on 17, 18 and 19 July, from 7pm until 9.45pm. Tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 concessions, and can be ordered by emailing: Coventry@graceacademy.org.uk