‘Oliver!’ (also commonly referred to as ‘Oliver’) is the timeless musical that brings the beloved 1838 Charles Dickens classic novel to life. With a book, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart, this show features some of the most memorable songs and characters ever seen on stage. ‘Oliver!’ premiered in 1960 at the Wimbledon Theatre in London before opening on the West End that same year where it was hugely popular, warranting a record-breaking run. Since then, this show has had multiple major London revivals, been on Broadway and was adapted to film in 1968, a film which has gained the musical an even greater audience.
Set in Victorian England, the story centers around Oliver, a small, neglected orphan boy who dreams of having a family that truly loves him. Being born into a life of poverty and misfortune has meant that Oliver has lived his entire existence in orphanages and workhouses. He decides to run away to London in order to chase his dream for love and a place to call home. There he meets the charming Artful Dodger who draws him into a gang of children all of whom are petty thieves and pickpockets. This group is led by notorious thief, the charismatic but conniving Fagin, who takes Oliver under his wing, attempting to teach him how to live a life of crime. When Oliver is picked up by the police for a theft he did not commit, he is rescued and taken in by a benevolent, wealthy gentleman named Mr. Brownlow. Fagin sees this as a threat to his secret lair and employs the help of a violent man named Bill Sykes to get him back in any way possible. But it’s not just Oliver caught in the middle of all this… Nancy, a warm-hearted woman who isn’t any better suited to a life of crime than Oliver, also find herself in the mix. Will this sweet little boy with such a big heart ever discover the true love of a family?
‘You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two’ is one of the many songs from the Oliver! soundtrack that is well-known to the public. Taking place in Fagin’s secret lair, this song acts as Oliver’s introduction to committing petty theft. Fagin sings this song to teach Oliver and the rest of the young boys how to pick the pockets of the Victorian gentlemen that fill the busy streets of London. Using handkerchiefs loosely dangled from their pockets in order to practise how to steal without being noticed, the boys dance around the room to Fagin’s reoccurring phrase “you’ve got to pick a pocket or two”.
Inspired by Fagin’s tattered green jacket pocket and the iconic red handkerchief the boys were using to practise their thievery, this black nickel pin is the perfect way to celebrate this musical classic!