Ever since Christopher Boulter’s Bill Sykes bludgeoned my Nancy with a rubber mallet in 1970, I’ve had a soft spot for Oliver, the musical. At the weekend, I went to see some other 10 year old with a uni-brow and matching tash commit murder most horrid behind a bit of mdf. Rather like the Bill of my youth, this Bill couldn’t act to save his life but he had a marvelous lisp which made up for it. Dodger was ginger and Fagin kept fluffing his lines. Nancy, bless her heart, was three feet taller than the rest of the cast and had obviously been to the London Bridge branch of SpecSavers but her Oompahpah was tremendous. Other highlights: Mr Brownlow’s Peter Wyngarde sideburns and the valiant efforts of the assorted extras to casually mill around the postage stamp stage without a. bumping into each other or b. crashing into the cardboard book shop and Victorian vegetable barrow. Talking of vegetables, next day, on the allotment, Len, the hairy road sweeper with the Filipino, vegetable hating internet bride, approached me with an offer. If I wasn’t too bothered by excess gas, would I be interested in taking a bag of Jerusalem artichokes off his hands. It was a very windy night.