Casting announced for The Wizard of Oz

Casting announced for The Wizard of Oz

The cast has been anounced for The Wizard of Oz, which opens for a limited run at the Royal Festival Hall, at the Southbank Centre, on 29 July 2008, following previews from 23 July - running to 31 Aug 2008

The principal cast is: Sian Brooke (Dorothy), Adam Cooper (Tin Man), Roy Hudd (Wizard of Oz), Julie Legrand (Wicked Witch of the West), Hilton McRae (Scarecrow), Gary Wilmot (Cowardly Lion).

Siân Brooke's, stage credits includes "The Birthday Party" at the Lyric Hammersmith, "In the Club" at Hampstead and several RSC productions. Adam Cooper's stage credits include the Swan in Matthew Bourne’s "Swan Lake" and as Sky Masterson in "Guys and Dolls" at the Piccadilly. Roy Hudd's tv career spans 40 years. His stage credits includes "Oliver!", "Run For Your Wife", "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Forum", "Underneath The Arches". Julie Legrand's London stage credits include "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Savoy. She has also appeared in numerous National and RSC productions. Hilton McRae’s theatre credits include "Caroline or Change" at the National, "Mamma Mia", "Les Miserables" and "Miss Saigon". Gary Wilmot's London stage credits include "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" at the London Palladium, "HMS Pinafore" at the Open Air Theatre, "Copacabana" at the Prince of Wales and "Me & My Girl" at the Aldephi Theatre.

Directed by Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director, Jude Kelly, this is the first time in more than 20 years that a major production of The Wizard of Oz has been staged in London. Southbank Centre will be producing the RSC stage version of the story, first shown in London in 1987, which closely follows the original classic MGM film from 1939. The film was based on Frank Baum’s fairy tale book, published in 1900.

The Wizard of Oz is adapted by John Kane for THe Royal Shakespeare Company. Music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y Harburg Background music by Herbert Stothart.

The production will have a cast of 30, with all of the familiar characters on stage: Dorothy, the Scarecrow who needs a brain, the Tin Man who wants a heart, the cowardly Lion who desperately needs some courage and, of course, the Wicked Witch of the West. With live music from a 20-piece band, Arlen and Harburg’s classic songs Somewhere Over The Rainbow, We’re Off to See The Wizard and Follow The Yellow Brick Road will transport audiences to a land of munchkins, magic, music and song. The set and costumes will be designed by Michael Vale, Associate Artist at Southbank Centre.

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