Friday, May 17, 2013


Complete all sections subtitled in "green." Help for some of your answers are written in the color "red." Sections 10a and 10b are to be completed explaining your personal opinion.

01a. Title: “Oliver” 

01b. Date Composed: 1960

02a. Composer: Lionel Bart

02b. Lyricist: Lionel Bart 

03a. Historical event, story, and/or novel on which this musical is based: 
Novel: “Oliver Twist”

04a. What the story is about:
A runaway orphan finds refuge with a gang of pickpocket thieves in Victorian England (1840's)

05a. Where the story takes place (ex: name of city, country, etc.): 
London, England

05b. Name possible clues in the movie that tell you this location (ex: famous landmarks, speech accents, etc.): 

English accents and English slang, English money terms used, row houses, London Bridge (London Bridge: Until 1750 London Bridge was the only bridge over the Thames in London. A bridge at this site dates from Roman times. The first stone London Bridge was built in 1176. This bridge eventually had houses, shops, and a church built upon it until they were removed in 1763. In 1831 it was replaced by a granite bridge designed by John Rennie. The Rennie London Bridge was replaced in 1972 and Rennie's bridge was dismantled and rebuilt in Lake Havasu, Arizona.) 

06a. Setting of the story (ex: farm, big city, slums, affluent neighborhood, etc.): 
Big city slum and affluent areas 

07a. Time frame the story takes place in:
1840’s England

07b. Name possible clues in the movie that tell you the time frame (ex: style of clothes and hair, types of transportation, modern inventions, etc.):
Use of horses and carriages, open air market places, street vendors, clothing (top hats, mop caps) 

08a. Names of main characters and short descriptions of each (ex: John Smith-salesman, Mary Smith-wife of John Smith, etc.): 

(In the world of the novel, external appearance usually gives a fair impression of a person’s inner character.) 

Oliver Twist: Runaway orphan (main character)
Oliver is born in a workhouse where he is mistreated by Bumble, the beadle (Quote: 'Please, sir, I want some more'). He is apprenticed to Sowerberry, the undertaker, and runs away to London where he falls in with Fagin and his band of pickpockets. Oliver is charged with theft, actually committed by the Artful Dodger, and later cleared. The object of the theft, Mr. Brownlow, takes Oliver into his home. He is recaptured by Nancy and returned to Fagin's band. Nancy later tries to help Oliver and is murdered. At the end of the story of Oliver's real parentage is revealed. His last name “Twist,” though given by accident, alludes to the reversals of fortune that he will experience. Oliver’s face is also singled out for special attention at multiple points in the story. Mr. Sowerberry, comments on its particular appeal, and his resemblance to the portrait of Mr. Brownlow’s niece provides the first clue (foreshadowing) to Oliver’s true identity. 

Mr. Bumble: Head of the orphanage/workhouse (called a Beadle) where
Oliver is born.
He mistreats the residents in his care and becomes the symbol of Dickens' distaste for the workhouse system. Mr. Bumble’s name connotes his bumbling arrogance.

Artful Dodger: Head boy of the pickpocket ring.
His original name being Jack Dawkins; he is the most successful and interesting of Fagin's thieves. He shows Oliver the ropes of the pickpocket game.

Fagin: The adult who lead and taught the boy pickpockets.
A crafty older man who runs a thieves’ school of pick pocketing. Oliver falls in with Fagin's band when he runs away from the undertaker, Sowerberry.. Fagin was based on real-life fence (receiver of stolen property), Ikey Soloman (1758-1850). 

Bill Sikes: Fagin’s partner who committed the more serious crimes.
He was a vicious thief working on the fringes of Fagin's band of pickpockets. He uses Oliver in an attempt to burglarize a home. When Nancy tries to help Oliver she is found out and Sikes murders Nancy. While fleeing police after the murder he is shot. 

Nancy: Bill Sikes’ girl friend.
A bar maid and a member of Fagin's band of thieves, she befriends Oliver and is eventually murdered by Sikes trying to help Oliver escape.

Mr. Brownlow: An old, rich gentleman who befriends and wants to adopt Oliver after Oliver is charged with pick pocketing him. He later establishes Oliver's true identity.

09a. Inner messages within the story (ex: morals, ethics, etc.) and explain the message you think the author of the movie (or story) is trying to convey:
This story deals with child abuse, non-existent child labor laws ( Dickens targets the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 which stipulated that the poor could only receive government assistance if they moved into government workhouses. So basically they established the rule that all poor people should have the alternative of being starved by a gradual process in the house, or by a quick one out of it.), conditions of the poor versus the rich (and the importance education plays in this, spousal abuse, women treated as second class citizens (”the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction”), murder, greed, and dishonesty. Oliver Twist is full of thievery. Some of it is committed by criminals like Sikes against respectable people, while some of it is committed by “respectable” people like Mr. Bumble against the poor. 

10a. Personal opinion in a few sentences (your ENJOYMENT factor: why you liked or disliked the musical): 

10b. Personal opinion on the QUALITY OF THE ARTISTRY in this musical in a few sentences: (ex: how well acted, quality of the singing voice(s), cinematography, memorable melodies, etc.): 

11a. Terms used in the movie that are new, unusual to you, and/or not often used:

Gruel: A semi-liquid food made by boiling meal in water or milk. Gruel, to make one pint—Oatmeal, 2 oz; treacle, ½ oz; salt and sometimes allspice; water. The fixed (and often basic and monotonous) diet prescribed for workhouse inmates. The dietary specified the food to be served to each class of inmate (male/female, adult/children etc.) for each meal of the week, often including the exact amount to be provided.
Guinea, Pound, Shilling, Farthing, Crown: English Money 
Cherrio: An English “good-bye” or farewell remark.
Esquire: A title of respect placed after a person's name. 
Magistrate: A public official with the power to administer and enforce the law (a judge). 
Gallows: A framework typically consisting of two or more upright beams supporting a crossbeam, used for executing a condemned person by hanging. 
Togs: Clothes.
Wretch: A base, vile, or contemptible person.
Plague: Any great evil or calamity.
Avaricious: Greedy or miserly.
Impertinent: Rudely bold.

12a. Song titles (hint: listen for repeated words or phrases in the song and guess the name of the song if you don’t know the name):

“Food Glorious Food”,_Glorious_Food


“Boy for Sale”

“Where is Love?” 

“Consider Yourself”

“You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket”

“It’s a Fine Life”

"I'll Do Anything"

“Be Back Soon”

“Who Will Buy”

“As Long As He Needs Me”

“I’m Reviewing the Situation”

“Om Pah Pah”


More "Oliver" Terms 
(Many of these words are found in the lyrics of the songs.) 
Airs: Affected manners intended to impress others
Avaricious: Greedy or miserly.
Banister: A handrail, especially on a staircase.
Bank Notes: These are promissory notes of a bank. It is a promise on behalf of the bank to pay money upon presentation of such a note. This was the only form of paper currency in England then.
Beak: A slang term for a magistrate (judge).
Beadle: A minor parish official whose duties include ushering and preserving order at services and sometimes civil functions. Some parishes hired them to run the workhouse after the 1834 New Poor Law was passed as was the case with Bumble, the beadle in Oliver Twist.
Befitting: Appropriate to.
Bill of Fare: Menu.
Bow Street Runners: Detective force organized by novelist Henry Fielding and his brother John in 1850. The Runners worked for fees and rewards. They went out of existence in 1839 when Robert Peel organized London's first police force. 

Cadge: Mooch; ask for and get free.
Cherrio: An English “good-bye” or farewell remark.
Claridges: Is a luxury hotel in Mayfair, central London.

Consolation: Comforting; affording comfort or solace.
Crown: English money; a sum of 4 shillings and two sixpences. It was a monetary unit equal to 5 shillings or 60 pence. 

Crumpet: A light muffin, usually served with tea.  
Daffodil: Are botanically named narcissus having yellow flowers and a trumpet shaped corona; the national flower of Wales
Decorum: Appropriate social behavior.
Duchesses: Duchess is a rank of nobility, the female equivalent of Duke (a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch).
Earl: A British peer ranking below a marquess and above a viscount.

Esquire: A title of respect placed after a person's name.
Estate: An estate comprises the houses and outbuildings and supporting farmland and woods that surround the gardens and grounds of a very large property.
Farthing: English money; worth a quarter of a penny. It was a monetary unit worth 1/4 pence. The term was sometimes used to denote anything worth practically nothing. 

Fisticuffs: Fistfight; a fight with bare fists.
Flounces: Frills; strips of pleated materials used as decorations or trims.
Furbelows: Ruffles, frills.
Gallows: A framework typically consisting of two or more upright beams supporting a crossbeam, used for executing a condemned person by hanging.
Gent: Informal abbreviation of `gentleman.'
Gluttony: Habitual eating to excess
Graces: Are skills used to interact politely in social situations. They include manners, etiquette (the specific accepted rules within a culture for the application of universal manners), deportment and fashion.
Gruel: A semi-liquid food made by boiling meal in water or milk. It was a cheap food made by boiling a small amount of oatmeal in a large amount of water. A dietary staple in the workhouse, this is what Oliver Twist asks for
more of.
Gum Tree:
Name for the eucalyptus tree in Australia.
Gratis: Is the process of providing goods or services without compensation. It is often referred to in English as "free of charge" or "complementary."
Grouse: To grumble; complain
Guinea: English money; It was considered a more gentlemanly amount. People paid tradesmen, such as a carpenter, in pounds but gentlemen, such as an artist, in guineas. It was a monetary unit equal to 1 pound 1 shilling.
Half-a-Crown: A British coin equal to 2-1/2 shillings, or 30 pence. 

Impertinent: Rudely bold. Implore: To beg for urgently.
King’s Ransom: A very large treasure.
Larder: A food storage area.
Lodgings: A place to live.
Lurking: To hang out or wait around a location, preferably without drawing attention to oneself.
Magistrate: A public (civil) official with the power to administer and enforce the law (a judge).
Mate: Informal term for a friend of the same sex.
Melancholy: A feeling of thoughtful sadness.
Mute: A funeral mute; a person whose function was to stand around at funerals with a sad, pathetic face.
Pays the Piper: Something that you say which means that the person who provides the money for something can decide how it should be done
Pence: Penny pence - penny; 1 pound equaled 240 pence. 

Plague: Any great evil or calamity.
Pounce: To attack suddenly
Pound: English money; the basic monetary unit English monetary unit, equaling 240 pence or 20 shillings. Using this system the pound could be exactly divided into halves, thirds, quarters, fifths, sixths, eighths, tenths, twelfths, fifteenths, sixteenths, twentieths, twenty-fourths, thirtieths, fortieths, forty-eightieths, sixtieths, eightieths, and one-hundred-and-twentieths.
Prudes: People who are excessively proper or modest in speech, conduct, dress,
Punch and Judy: A popular puppet show during the Victorian era for children. 

Reeling: Sustained noise, as from hammering.
Rogue: A deceitful and unreliable scoundrel.
Saveloy: A highly seasoned dried and smoked pork sausage, sold ready to eat.

Shilling: English money; a coin equal to 1/20th of an English Pound. It was a monetary unit equal to 12 pence; 20 shillings equaled 1 pound.  
Sixpence: An English coin worth six pennies.
Skimping: Subsisting on a meager allowance.
Station: Place: proper or designated social situation.
Steadfastly: Firm; with resolute determination; with conviction.
Stout: Thick, sturdy, not slender; portly, excessively fat.
Straight-Laces: People who are excessively strict in conduct or morality; puritanical; prudish.
Sweep: A chimney sweep was common in nineteenth century London. Sweeps often hired small boys that could fit in the chimneys, a very dangerous business. An 1842 law made it a crime to force anyone under 21 to enter a chimney, or to apprentice sweeps under 16. In Oliver Twist, this was taking place before this law was passed.
Subscribe: To pledge; pay (an amount of money) as a contribution to a charity or service, especially at regular intervals.
Supping: Supping is the ingestion of a liquid food by a spoon or by drinking.
Tatters: Ragged clothing
Timbuktu: A city in the West African nation of central Mali near the Niger River; formerly famous for its gold trade.
Toddies: An alcoholic drink made of sugar water, a distilled spirit, and either ice or hot water to which is added clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, or lemon peel.
Togs: Clothes.
Trials and Tribulations: Tests of one's patience or endurance.
Trounce: This term means to flog; beat severely with a whip or rod.
Undertaker: A mortician; one whose business is the management of funerals.
Unprecedented: Something never before seen or done.
Utterly: Completely, entirely, to the fullest extent.
Vittles: This is a slang word meaning food; edible provisions.
Wipes: This is a slang term for handkerchiefs.
Workhouse: A workhouse was a publically supported institution or place where people, who were unable to support themselves, could go to live and work.  After the English New Poor Law was passed in 1834 the workhouse became little more than a prison for the poor. Civil liberties were denied, families were separated, and human dignity was destroyed. Workhouses usually had a prescribed dietary menu (a meager diet) which prompted Charles Dickens to quip that the poor were offered the choice of "being starved by a gradual process in the house, or by a quick one out of it."
Wretch: A base, vile, or contemptible person.