"Oliver Twist" has always been among Dickens' most popular novels. It has been adapted for film, for the theatre and for television, and has also been turned into the stage musical Oliver! It tells the story of an unfortunate orphan boy from his early years in the harsh environment of the workhouse, where he is punished for asking for more to eat, to his struggle for survival in the dangerous world outside its gates. Many of the book's characters have become household names, in particular Fagin and the 'Artful Dodger', two of the colourful criminals who introduce Oliver to the rigours of the Victorian underworld. The story is a thrilling tale of good against evil, packed with suspense, humour, vitality, pity and drama, with an innocent young boy at its centre. Dickens was a great showman, and this is one of his finest shows.