THE saying of ‘Please sir, I want some more’ has been used in a range of different contexts since appearing in Oliver.

But for the Basingstoke Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS), more comes in the form of two actors taking on the duty of the leading role.

During the group’s 12 performances of Oliver at the Haymarket, the leading role will be split between nine-year-old Edward Walton and 11-year-old Oliver Webb.

BATS will transports its audiences back to Victorian England, where poor mistreated orphan Oliver Twist is sold by Mr Bumble, the master of the workhouse, to Mr Sowerberry, the funeral director.

Oliver runs away to London, where he encounters a gallery of memorable rogues like Fagin, Nancy, Bill Sikes and the Artful Dodger.

For Edward, there was some foreshadowing as he dressed up as Oliver for World Book Day at school last year, but had not seen the musical before auditioning for the show.

He is enjoying the singing and acting, but the dancing element will be a challenge for the nine-year-old.

He said: “I find dancing the hardest. In the song Consider Yourself there are so many moves to remember.”

For 11-year-old Ollie, this will be his stage debut, but he will have some family encouragement as he shares a number of scenes with mum Theresa who plays Widow Corney, the heartless mistress of the workhouse.

Ollie said: “It’s fun. I know when she’s being horrible to me it’s only acting.”

A cast of 60 talented local performers - including 30 boys and girls - bring Oliver’s exciting, scary and ultimately uplifting adventures to the Haymarket stage.

The show is directed by Liz Ilett and features a full orchestra under the musical direction of Neil Streeter.

“I want audiences to laugh, I want audiences to cry, I want them to believe in the story,” Liz added.

“It’s a musical that has soul and a `real` story. It’s not `pretty pretty`, it’s quite grim at times.

“It’s very much an actor’s musical, and we’re trying to delve deep into the characters and bring out the drama of Oliver’s situation.”

Those characters include iconic roles like Fagin (played by David Izzo), who leads a gang of boy pickpockets, the caring Nancy (Kirsty Kingham), and the terrifying Sikes (Ali Bagshawe).

Packed with great songs such as Food, Glorious Food, I’d Do Anything, Consider Yourself, Gotta Pick a Pocket Or Two, BATS are set to entertain audiences from May 8 to May 18.

For more information and tickets, go to