A classic musical is getting a new twist this month.

Avalon Theatre Company will perform Oliver!, the popular musical by Lionel Bart.

However, the performance will be a little different to what theatre goers are used to, with the roles of Oliver and the Artful Dodger being played by two girls and two boys who alternate the roles.

Producer and director Sue Davids says: "We originally planned to cast only boys in the roles with both 'crews' but we were having girls turn up at the auditions for Fagin's gang - wanting so much to be in the musical.

"So we thought - why not try them and it's worked out really well. We are definitely an equal opportunities company.

"It's such a popular musical that even if you've never seen it on stage you'll almost certainly know most of the songs.

"It gives you a tingly feeling and gets your feet tapping. It's been an absolute pleasure working with the cast and I'm thrilled to be giving the girls a go for a change."

Oliver! was first performed in the West End in 1960 starring Ron Moody as Fagin - who later went on to play the role in the film.

The musical has been tremendously popular and run for well over 2000 performances.

It has had many revivals due to popular demand, with many well known faces playing the principal characters.

Robert Lindsay won an Olivier award for his performance as Fagin in 1997.

Oliver! Charles Cryer Studio Theatre, 39 High Street, Carshalton; May 21-25, Eve 7.30pm Sat mat 2.30pm; £15 adults £10 children senior citizens, £14 concs Tuesday Eve and Sat Mat, Fri-Sat Eve £11; 020 8770 6990 or visit suttontheatres.co.ukSutton Guardian: