Theatre-goers were in fine voice as they took part in a special sing-song of classic hits from the musical Oliver!

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The show, based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, is currently being performed at Norwich Theatre Royal, and this afternoon the production’s musical director Toby Higgins and cast member Jack Edwards, who plays Mr Bumble, took to the stage to lead the Sing-A-Long-A-Oliver! session.

About 150 singers came along to take part in the event which saw them perfect their east London accents and burst into song as they performed the hits Consider Yourself, I’d Do Anything and Food Glorious Food.

Jack Edwards said: “It was great fun. Everyone who took part was really enthusiastic and there were some really talented singers out there. It was great to have the opportunity to be part of it.”

Among the singers was Donna Hunt, 35 and from Chester Street, in the Unthank Road area of Norwich, who was there with fellow members of Norwich Community Choir which recently performed Food Glorious Food for a festival at Gresenhall Farm and Workhouse.

She said: “We all love singing. I think everyone is a fan of Oliver! because it is a classic and people just want to get involved.”

Jean Yaxley, 69 and from Blofield Heath, was also at the sing-a-long session.

She said: “I like a good sing song. I’m coming to see the show with my 10-year-old granddaughter Elizabeth on Saturday.”

Jason Raper, education manager at Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “We’ve been concentrating for a while on bringing extra educational value to our shows. We usually work with dance and drama but this was a chance to use the voice.

“We advertised it a few weeks ago and two groups came forward – the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind and the Norwich Community Choir, plus lots of other people who heard about it.

“This was a first for Norwich and a first for the Oliver! tour. It was a really good afternoon. I sung my heart out with them. I think everyone had a really good afternoon and great value-for-money. It also gave Norfolk’s frustrated singers the chance to come out and use their vocal cords. To coin a well-known phrase from the show, who could ask for more?”

• Oliver! is at Norwich Theatre Royal until August 4. For more information or to book tickets visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.

• Are you involved in a new theatre project in Norwich? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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