An ensemble like no other, producer Sam Mendes has picked out some of television’s most iconic and versatile actors to voice his new Audible Original show, Oliver Twist. The star-studded cast includes none other than Succession’s Brian Cox, Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan, Black Panther’s Daniel Kaluuya, and many more. If like us, you’re curious to hear more about this thrilling new series and format, here’s everything to know about the Audible adaptation of Oliver Twist.
A classic by Charles Dickens that has long been a part of the literary canon, Oliver Twist follows a young orphan facing a grim life of poverty in the 19th century British workhouses. Oliver is ousted from the workhouse for standing up against ill-treatment, but he marches on becoming an undertaker’s assistant before walking miles to London where he discovers a new reality.
There, Twist falls into the company of a gang of pickpockets helmed by Artful Dodger and their Godfather-like guardian, Fagin. Whilst the adaptation was recorded in Audible’s London studio, it features notable Foley recordings that were captured at 48 Doughty Street, the author’s former house where he originally penned Oliver Twist.
Although we’ve already mentioned some of the key cast members, Mendes’ Audible iteration also features Heartstopper’s Kit Connor, I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu, Gavin & Stacey’s Julia Davis, Ted Lasso’s Nick Mohammed, Sex Education’s Patricia Allison, and Motherland’s Diane Morgan.
Villa-Muhammad plays Oliver Twist, whilst Cox plays the role of Fagin. “Dickens was a genius storyteller and Oliver Twist may be his greatest ever work. Reimagining a character as complex and changeable as Fagin offers a real challenge for an actor, and I hope listeners enjoy our telling of this masterpiece,” Cox told press.
The notorious thief Bill Sikes is portrayed by Kaluuya, and Coughlan plays Nancy. The series also features an impressive soundtrack — the original score has been created by Dan Gillespie-Sells, the lead singer of The Feeling and the composer of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the hit West End musical.
Mendes dubbed Dickens “the ultimate storyteller,” and said he’s excited to reimagine the story in a “compelling 3D way.” He continued, “the cast is fantastic, and I’ve never heard an audio production before that is so filmic. It’s cinema for the ears.”
The audiobook is now available on Audible worldwide, and is the first of three Charles Dickens adaptations that are set to be produced by Mendes for the platform. As per Radio Times, the second Dickens instalment will be released in 2023.