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The Height of Summer Drama

Friday, 17th July 2015

Lancaster’s very own ‘Little and Large’ are currently proving the city’s most popular double act this summer.

At 4ft 11ins, Josie Cerise is always looking up to her 6ft 4ins sidekick, Andrew Ashford in The Dukes outdoor walkabout production of Oliver Twist in Williamson Park.

Josie plays a female Artful Dodger and Andrew takes on the role of her dim-witted friend, Charley Bates in the play which runs until August 15.

The difference in their height is just one of the comic elements of this new adaptation of the Dickens classic written by Coronation Street scriptwriter, Debbie Oates.

Once again, Josie, who was brought up near Chorley, has become an audience favourite following her showstealing performance as one of the Ugly Sisters in The Dukes production of Cinderella last Christmas.

Although she has appeared in the West End, on children’s television and across the world, Oliver Twist is her first experience of outdoor theatre so as well as picking pockets, Josie has been picking up tips from Andrew who appeared in The Dukes 25th anniversary outdoor production of Merlin And The Legend Of King Arthur in 2011.

“One of the best things is the sheer scale of it all – there really is nothing like the experience of performing in the open air,” said Andrew.

“Park show audiences are also extremely special. They are so supportive of the piece, and the actors in it, and are always so appreciative.”

To book tickets for Oliver Twist which is recommended for anyone aged 5 plus, ring The Dukes Box Office on 01524 598500 or visit


For more information, please contact Louise Bryning on 01524 598509 or email

Editor’s Notes

The writer, director and cast are available for interview on request.

The Dukes is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. The Dukes receives funding from Arts Council England, Lancashire County Council, Lancaster City Council, Lancaster University and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The Dukes is the winner of the Lancashire Tourism Cultural Venue/Organisation  
Award 2013.

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01772 426450.