There've been no official Dickensian casting announcements yet, but word about casting is starting to leak out via actors' Twitter accounts. So I don't think anyone will object if I mention that Caroline Quentin is playing Mrs. Bumble, and Sophie Simnett is playing someone's niece. (Whose niece, I don't know. She looks a bit young for Scrooge's niece.) Additionally, this site lists Stephen Rae as a cast member, though with no role given.
It isn't much, but it's a start -- and I'll let you know if I find more!
The title of Laura Freeman's recent article in the Telegraph, "How Charles Dickens stopped me from starving myself to death," is slightly misleading. It wasn't just Dickens whose writing about food made this anorexic young woman realize that "food could be a pleasure"; it was also Siegfried Sassoon, Thomas Hardy, Marcel Proust, and several other writers. However, Dickens was one of those who played a part in her recovery, and that makes perfect sense -- he always had a special gift for writing about the simple joys and pleasures of life, and making them sound extra appealing.
In short, as Freeman puts it, "Never readCharles Dickens without a well-stocked larder. His novels can make a reader very hungry."
Oliver! is airing again tonight on Turner Classic Movies, this time as part of their "Friday Night Spotlight: Roadshow Musicals" event. The movie starts at 10:45 p.m. Eastern, but if you tune in about 10 minutes early, you can see a "featurette" about the making of the movie.
Dodge and Twist, a steampunk film that catches up with Oliver and the Dodger 20 years after the events of Dickens's novel, has been in the works for a couple of years. Now Edgar Wright has turned in a new draft of the script, and rumors are that some high-profile stars may be approached to play the leads. More information (along with some speculation) is here, here, and here!
British choreographer Matthew Bourne told the Guardian, "There’s . . . a film of Oliver! in the pipeline. Cameron Mackintosh is hoping to follow up Les Misérables with Oliver! and I’ve never really worked on a major film so that’s exciting."
In Variety, Tony Jordan says that they're having trouble finding studio space for the show and that it may have to shoot in Eastern Europe, though he acknowledges, "It just doesn't feel quite right. It should be in the U.K." The piece also mentions some of the buildings and characters that are going to appear on the show.