The role of Fagin will be played by TV's "Man Behaving Badly" star Neil Morrissey, alternating at different dates with West End musical and variety actor Brian Conley.
Oliver!, which recently completed a two-year run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, last year celebrated its 50th birthday, having premiered in the West End in 1960. The new tour will be produced by Cameron Mackintosh, in association with Southbrook Group Limited and Stage Entertainment UK. In a press statement, Mackintosh remarked, "It is 46 years since I appeared in the first national tour of Oliver! and this show has been close to my heart ever since. Little did I know then that I would one day be this brilliant musical's producer and co-owner. Every time I produce the show Lionel Bart’s marvellous musical becomes a smash hit all over again, so I’m thrilled to bring you yet another spectacular new version starring Neil Morrissey and Brian Conley."
Morrissey, best known for playing Tony in the TV series "Men Behaving Badly," has appeared in the West End in Victoria Wood's Acorn Antiques and as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. His other TV credits include "Waterloo Road," "Skins," "Paradise Heights" and "Carrie and Barrie." He will play Fagin during the show's runs in Cardiff, Manchester (Jan. 24-March 10, 2012), Birmingham (March 13-April 1, 2012), Leeds (Nov. 6-Dec. 8), Dublin (Dec. 11-Jan. 12, 2013) and Bristol (Jan. 15-March 2, 2013).
Conley, who was last seen in the West End and subsequently on the UK tour of Hairspray as Edna Turnblad, has also starred in London in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and originated the role of Al Jolson in Jolson. On TV he has played Doug Digby in "The Grimleys," and starred in his own series "The Brian Conley Show" and "An Audience with Brian Conley." He will play Fagin during the second half of the Birmingham run (April 3-21, 2012), then continue to Southampton (May 1- 26), Edinburgh (May 30-June 23), Norwich (July 3-Aug. 4), Plymouth (Aug. 8-Sept. 8) and Newcastle (Sept. 12-Nov. 13).
For further details and box office numbers, visit www.oliverthemusical.com.