If you thought that becoming an Oscar-winning actor meant that all of Eddie Redmayne’s dreams had been realised, then you’d be wrong – until now that is. The Theory of Everything star has been in talks to play Fagin in a reboot of Oliver!, a role he has wanted to play from a very young age.
He may also be lining-up alongside superstar-songstress Adele, who herself has been linked with the part of Nancy.
And Redmayne can hold a note with the best of them, as he proved in 2012’s Les Miserables, so prepare for a memorable version of You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two, Fagin’s main contribution to the piece. When he was a mere ten years old, he appeared in a Sam Mendes (no less) stage production of the Dickens-inspired musical, as workhouse boy No43, and ever since then has harboured the ambition to play one of ‘the gang’ of which Fagin is the ringleader.
Regular viewers of The Graham Norton Show may remember Redmayne performing Consider Yourself in the studio back in 2015. At the time he said: “If you were 11 years old and wanted to be an actor I feel like everyone in England at some point played someone in Oliver! and wanted to be in the gang. I only got the part as workhouse boy No43 but I did an audition and still remember the dance.”
Alec Guiness‘s portrayal in David Lean‘s 1948 version of Oliver Twist still remains the benchmark by which other ‘Fagins’ are judged. As he was only 36 at the time, Guinness had to undergo heavy make-up in order to look convincing as the miserly old crook, so it’s likely that, at 35, Redmayne will have to do the same.
If he’s as similar in his performance level as he is in age, it’ll be well worth the effort.