OLIVER! will bid cheerio to Griff Rhys Jones on 12 June. Russ Abott, one of the most popular entertainers in Britain, will play Fagin from 14 June.
Russ is no stranger to OLIVER! having played the role of Fagin at the Palladium, Theatre Royal and on tour. He is probably best known for his TV comedy programme, The Russ Abbot Show, which enjoyed more than ten series on different channels, but his varied career has also encompassed releasing a single “Atmosphere”, which made it into the top ten, as well as television success with September Song, Married for Life, Mad House and TV to Go. He was also known as the face of Hamlet cigars. His many awards include Top Variety Act at the 1990 British Comedy Awards. Last year, the BBC announced that Abbot would be joining the cast of Last of the Summer Wine for the show’s 30th series. Despite his television fame, Abbot is no stranger to the West End having starred in shows such as Neil Simon’s Little Me, Willy Russell’s One for the Road and the 2001 farce Caught in the Net, Ray Cooney’s sequel to Run for Your Wife. His other musical credits include Fagin in Oliver! at the London Palladium, UK tour and in Toronto, the title role in the UK tour of Dr Dolittle, Alfred P Doolittle in the multi award-winning revival of Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Grandpa Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and Roger De Bris in the UK tour of The Producers.