Grantham family tread the boards together

Gary, Dexter and Tegan Bickmore. Photo: Teresa Martin
Gary, Dexter and Tegan Bickmore. Photo: Teresa Martin
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Three members of a Grantham family will star together in an upcoming production of Oliver!.

Gary Bickmore will appear on stage with his two eldest children, Dexter and Tegan, in the Newark Amateur Operatic Society production, which runs at Newark Palace Theatre from March 28 to April 1.

Dexter, 15, is a pupil of the King’s School and has been performing on stage since the age of five, while 12-year-old Tegan, who goes to kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, has been involved in drama since she was four.

They have both appeared in over 50 shows between them, in many theatres across the county.

Gary told the Journal: “To be part of a great show like Oliver! is just a fantastic experience. Newark Amateur Operatic Society has produced some great shows over the years and to be part of such a well-known and popular show with Dexter and Tegan is very special.”

Gary is playing the part of Mr Sowerberry, the undertaker who buys Oliver from workhouse owner Mr Bumble after he famously asks for ‘more gruel’. This is his second show with the society and the first time he has had a principal role.

Dexter will play Noah, the undertaker’s bullying apprentice, while Tegan is part of the girls’ chorus performing well-known songs such as ‘Consider Yourself’ and ‘Who will buy?’.

A former member of Lincoln’s County Amateur Operatic Society and Lincoln’s Theatre Royal School of Performing Arts, Dexter has also appeared in The Sound of Music and Singin’ in the Rain, and landed the role of John in Peter Pan with ABD Productions and Ivor in Ibsen’s classic Doll’s House play, all performed at Lincoln Theatre Royal.

Tegan has also enjoyed the experiences of performing in Peter Pan and more locally as Ariel from The Little Mermaid with Grantham’s New Youth Theatre.

They have both been members and performed with the Newark Amateur Operatic Society since 2014, where Dexter appeared as Louis Leonowens in the King and I in 2015 and Tegan as Ngana in South Pacific last year.

Gary said: “My wife and I are very proud of all their hard-work and people often don’t realise what a big commitment this is for them. They have been rehearsing since before Christmas and currently attend rehearsals in Newark twice a week, which will increase as show time nears.”

**The show: Bringing Charles Dickens’ novel to life, Lionel Bart’s Oliver! takes audiences on a wild adventure through Victorian England. Join young orphaned Oliver Twist as he navigates London’s underworld of theft and violence searching for a home, a family and - most importantly - love.
The show is on from Tuesday, March 28 to Saturday, April 1.
Tickets are £14-£17 and £60 for a family ticket. To buy, call the box office on 01636 655755 or visit