‘Fagin is an iconic role, like Holmes or Bond’

Nick Scovell plays Fagin.
Nick Scovell plays Fagin.
Portsmouth-born comic Suzi Ruffell

As comic Suzi Ruffell comes home, they say you can take the girl out of Portsmouth...

  • Oliver! by Fareham Musical Society opens on March 17 at Ferneham Hall
Have your say

You wouldn’t expect a society to cast three new members to play leading roles, but Fareham Musical Society has attracted more local talent for its latest production.

Oliver! opens on March 17 at Ferneham Hall with Fagin, Nancy and Sykes being played by debutants for the society.

I have harboured a dream since ever since I started acting of playing Fagin but only now have I had the opportunity.

Nick Scovell, Fareham Musical Society

Nick Scovell will be playing Fagin, Clare Blackburn will take on the role of Nancy and Paul Denny sinks his teeth into Bill Sykes.

Chairman Graeme Clements says: ‘I had seen all three of our lead actors perform before and actually acted alongside Nick and Paul in The Three Musketeers at Ferneham Hall in October last year.

‘I saw Clare playing a lead in The Rivals at Tichfield a few years ago and was very impressed so I was happy when she became a member.’

For Nick, playing Fagin has been a long time in the waiting.

He says: ‘I have harboured a dream since ever since I started acting of playing Fagin but only now have I had the opportunity. So I had to go for it.

‘Fagin has already been established as one of those iconic characters. It is like if you play Sherlock Holmes or James Bond, everyone has expectations of how he should be played.

‘I wanted to bring a bit of myself to the role too so I had to strike a balance.

‘I am a very instinctive actor so I just found a voice for him.’

As well as the costume, which Nick says is more colourful and Eastern European than other incarnations, there was something else that helped him to get into the part.

‘There was this man scurrying around on Portchester Station as I was just about to get the train.

‘He was stooped and very eccentric, and I missed my train because I was watching him. I thought, that is Fagin. As an actor you are always looking for things in life to file away in your head for a character.’

Oliver! runs from March 17-21 at Ferneham Hall at 7.30pm with matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.

Tickets: £11.50-14, call the box office on 01329 824 864.