Mercury Theatre Holding Oliver! Auditions

One of the first shows in the Autumn/Winter season at the Mercury’s pop-up venue, Mercury at Abbey Field, will be auditioning local amateur actors of all ages.

Lionel Bart’s Oliver! a collaboration between Colchester Operatic Society, Colchester Operatic Society 2nd Edition and the Mercury Theatre will run at Mercury at Abbey Field from Fri 27 Sep – Sat 12 Oct.

The Mercury has worked with Colchester Operatic many times in the past, but this will be the first time a show is made in full collaboration, combining professional creatives with amateur actors from the Colchester community.

Open auditions will be held to scout local talent for the show with separate days for youth and adult roles.
Anyone who wants to be considered to be part of Fagin’s Gang, a Workhouse Kid or the role of Oliver, Artful Dodger, Bet (age 16+), or Nancy (age 18+) will need to apply in advance by preparing a video. Application forms will also need to be completed and sent alongside the video and can be downloaded from

These will need to be emailed to by 5pm on Fri 5th April. All auditionees must be aged 11 or above by Sun 5th May to apply.

Successful video applicants for Oliver, Artful Dodger, Workhouse Kids or Fagin’s Gang will be invited to attend a pre-audition workshop on either Wed 1st or Thu 2nd May (7.30pm – 10pm) to prepare for an audition to be held on Sun 5th May (9.45am – 4pm), all to be held at the Abbey Field Centre.

Successful video applicants for the roles of Bet and Nancy and those who wish to audition for any other roles are invited to attend a pre-audition workshop on Wed 8th or Thu 9th May (7.30pm – 10pm), prior to an audition on Sun 12th May (9.45am – 4pm) at the Abbey Field Centre. To attend please register your interest by sending your name, playing age and a contact email address to

There will be auditions for dogs suitable for the role of Bullseye – further information about this will be announced in due course.

Sarah White, Business Manager of Colchester Operatic Society said: “Colchester Operatic Society and CO2 are very excited to begin this project with the Mercury Theatre. We hope by holding open auditions we will discover the very best talent our local community has to offer as well as welcoming back our wonderful existing members.”

Directing the show will be Ryan McBryde who has had recent successes with Pieces of String and Moll Flanders. Charlie Morgan, regular choreographer of the Mercury pantomime will choreograph and assistant direct the show. Taking up the baton is James Cleeve who musically directed Liza Pulman sings Streisand, which visited the Mercury last year. Costumes and set will be designed by David Shields, known to the Mercury audiences for his extravagant pantomime designs (Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) and the John Cleese farce Bang Bang. The Sound Designer will be Chris Bogg who has designed the Mercury productions of Spamalot, Pieces of String and the last three pantomimes.

Further information can be found at