Charles Dickens Oliver Twist seems very popular at the moment with a production on BBC 1 over Christmas, I d Do Anything, a talent seeking show looking for an Oliver and Nancy imminent and another version due to hit Channel 4 with Ben Kingsley as Fagin.

Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist seems very popular at the moment with a production on BBC 1 over Christmas, I'd Do Anything, a talent seeking show looking for an Oliver and Nancy imminent and another version due to hit Channel 4 with Ben Kingsley as Fagin. So how is Barnstaple Amateur Operatic Society's production next week going to be different? The show version is quite different from the film. Lionel Bart kept very much to what Dickens intended, even to some dialogue. Alistair Donkin, director of the BAOS production is renowned throughout the country for his skill in bringing a story alive. "I always feel as a director that it is my job to present the show as intended by its creator," Alistair said. "This is the first time I have directed Oliver! and could not have wished for a better team of children. They will undoubtedly steal the show. I can only hope that if I have the pleasure of directing it in the future, that I have a team as good."History is almost repeating itself with Mark Funning (Bill Sykes) appears with his daughter Sian, 14, playing Bet; 31 years ago Mark, then 13, appeared with his father Peter Funning in The Gipsy Baron in Bedfordshire. Both Mark's father, grandfather, brother and sister are or have been members of operatic societies and orchestras. "Being in this show with Sian brings back some great memories of me and my Dad", said Mark "My youngest daughter Bethan is now also waiting to take up the family tradition next year if she is lucky enough to get a part in our next production of Fiddler On the Roof."Whatever happens, with such an array of talent it looks like the Funning musical dynasty is set to continue with BAOS. The company's Oliver! is at the Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple, from Tuesday until Saturday (March 11-15).