Full casting had been announced for Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s revival of the stage version of The Wizard of Oz this Christmas.
The 16-strong cast will be led by Chisara Agor as Dorothy, Kelly Agbowu as the Lion and Zeke, Shanay Holmes as Glinda and Aunt Em, Lorna Laidlaw as The Wizard and Professor Marvel, Dillon Scott-Lewis as Tin Man and Hickory, Jos Vantyler as the Wicked Witch and Miss Gulch, Thomas Vernal as Uncle Henry and Oz guard, and Ed Wade as Scarecrow and Hunk.
The Oz company will also feature Rhys Batten, Jade Davies, Luke Fraser Yates, Zak Nemorin, Kerri Norville, Elisha Sherman, Emily Squibb and Ben Thompson. The cast will be completed by local dogs taking on the role of Dorothy’s loveable companion, Toto.
Directed by Liam Steel, the show will run at The Rep from 24 November 2018 to 13 January 2019. It will be designed by Angela Davies with costume and puppet designs by Samuel Wyer, lighting design by Nick Richings and sound design by Paul Groothius.
With George Dyer as musical director, it is filled with the songs of composer Harold Arlen and lyricist EY Harburg which have become timeless classics since the classic 1939 film. This new production uses the book written by John Kane for the 1987 Royal Shakespeare Company stage adaptation, based on both the film and L Frank Baum’s original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It features additional background music by Herbert Stothart.
Steel said: “The Wizard of Oz is a story packed with memorable moments and marvellous music, but at its heart is a journey of self-discovery. I can’t wait to explore this in the rehearsal room with a great company of actors as we bring a fresh, authentic take, and a bit of sass, to this glorious musical.”
Announcing the show earlier this year, The Rep’s artistic director Roxana Silbert said: “The Wizard of Oz is such a great show that’s perfect for fans of the film and musicals alike. With a glorious cast of characters including a wicked witch and a tail-wagging Toto, a stunning setting, fabulous music and a sprinkling of Rep magic, it’s got all the vital ingredients for a wonderful Christmas show for everyone.”