Worthing nine-year-old set to star as Oliver Twist in Hove

A Worthing boy is relishing the challenge of playing the part of Oliver Twist when Phoenix Theatre Company bring the all-time classic musical Oliver! to All Saints Church, Hove, BN3 3QE from Thursday, October 28-Saturday, October 30.

Christian - Miles Davies Photography
Christian - Miles Davies Photography

Proud mum Claudine Ridley said: “Christian was born in Worthing and goes to Broadwater CofE Primary school and auditioned in Hove for the part of Oliver back in April of this year and was delighted to be given the part as Oliver at only nine years old.

“Since then he has been rehearsing maybe two or three times a week in Hove. Rehearsals have been challenging this year with many actors having to isolate due to coronavirus and at times keeping two metres apart.

“Christian started performing at six years old at West End Theatre Academy in Worthing and received private singing lessons. In August 2019 Christian got his first taste of performing on stage as Tobi an orphan in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for Brighton Youth Theatre Group performing at Brighton Royal Theatre. Having enjoyed this experience Christian was determined to book a lead role in a local theatre production as soon as theatres were able to open up again. Lockdown has had a terrible effect in this industry.

“It’s a family affair as his younger sister Victoria Ridley who is six years old is also performing in the Oliver musical as Nipper in Fagin’s Gang.

“Everyone has worked so hard to make this production happen this year despite the many challenges coronavirus has given us. It’s not just about Christian but all the adult and child actors who have worked extremely hard to put on an amazing show for you all to see.”

Bringing Charles Dickens’ beloved novel to life, Lionel Bart’s Oliver! will take you on a wild adventure through Dickensian England.

The company invite you to join young orphan Oliver Twist as he navigates the dark and smoky London underworld filled with theft and violence, searching for a home, a family, and – most importantly – for love. Join Oliver as he meets Fagin, Dodger and the gang of young pickpockets and thieves. Watch him fall under the spell of Nancy and Bet and fear for his life when trapped by the terrifying Bill Sikes.