After a hard day's labor in a parish workhouse for children, a nine-year-old orphan named Oliver asks for a second serving of gruel. The workhouse master, annoyed by Oliver's impatience, sells him into an apprenticeship with a drunken undertaker and his abusive wife. Fearing for his life, the boy escapes to London, where he falls in with the Artful Dodger and a band of juvenile pickpockets led by the criminal Fagin. Oliver discovers heroes and villains in all manner of strange places as he learns how to survive and thrive on the streets of the city.
Including such favorite songs as "Food, Glorious Food," "Consider Yourself," and "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two," Oliver!, Lionel Bart's adaptation of Charles Dickens's social satire of 19th-century London, remains a cherished musical for all ages.