Griff's the new Fagin

Rhys Jones to take over from Djalili

Griff Rhys Jones is to become the next comedian to play Fagin in the West End revival of Oliver! – following Rowan Atkinson and Omid Djalili.

Jones will take on the role from December 14 until June next year.

Producer Cameron Mackintosh said: ‘I’ve wanted to work with Griff for years so I’m delighted that the marvellous role of Fagin has tempted him back to the stage this Christmas.

‘Griff is an actor with an amazing array of successful talents, all of which will undoubtedly be poured into his unique and entertaining interpretation of one of Dickens’ most famous and beloved creations. I can’t wait!’

He will appear alongside Nancy Prenger, who continues in her role as Nancy.

Djalili has received critical praise for his West End debut.

The Daily Telegraph said: ‘The plump and engaging Djalili plays Fagin with winning warmth and flawed humanity, establishes a real connection with the children in his gang, and has come up with a hugely entertaining comic schtick.’

While The Stage said: ‘Djalili puts his stand-up comedy skills to great use in scenes where he appears to be ad-libbing, making jokes about politicians’ expenses and the banking crisis, and, as you might expect, he demonstrates perfect comic timing.’

Published: 15 Sep 2009

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